The world often thinks that if you are soft, you can’t be strong, and vice versa. This is a limitation that we must overcome because sooner or later, it’s what we pass on to the younger generation. Writer, coach and speaker Ariane de Bonvoisin believes that we can be both and thus, finding happiness is achievable by making a stand with our conscious choices. Ariane dives deep into that ability to connect with something greater than yourself, to have a bigger space in the world to impart and contribute. She pushes forward the importance of teaching kids all of these with happiness, intuition, and mindfulness, bringing to them all the good in the world.
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The Importance Of Finding Happiness for You And Your Kids with Ariane de Bonvoisin
I have with me a very special guest. It’s Ariane de Bonvoisin. She writes, coaches, and speaks frequently on issues of personal and professional change, happiness and inspiration, entrepreneurship, women in the workplace, parenting, and the topic of mindful living and conscious business. She is passionate about helping parents, teachers, and caregivers of all kinds raise happy, conscious, healthy, and empowered kids. Her Giggles and Joy Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids book series is a contribution to that intention. She’s a bestselling author, speaker, and she’s previously worked in the various fields of consulting, big media, venture capital, and startups. What a well-rounded person. Welcome, Ariane. It’s great to have you.
It’s great to be on your wonderful show.
I always research my guest and I felt happy researching you. Happiness came across in everything you do. How did you get to where you are with the writing, coaching, and speaking? How did that career come to be?
I grew up all around the world in six countries, three continents. My parents are European and it was important for them that I have a good education, a safe career, and a life where I fit in. I was very much educated and told that what mattered in life was above the neck and external. It took me nearly a few decades in the corporate world and in business to realize that I also had a meaningful and important inner life. I was in the spiritual closet and doing my inner work. I had these two versions of myself, an inner version and this external version in the world. What came to happen was my intuition got louder and louder and I couldn’t shut it up anymore.
I had to break off an engagement. I had to get out of the job that I was in, which is a very big job in venture capital, and start integrating those two parts of me, the heart, the mind, the spirit, and soul, but also fully still be in the world. There’s a perception sometimes that if I’m spiritual, then I can’t make money. If I’m spiritual, then I can’t have wine and sex or whatever. I want it to be for myself a little bit more of an integrated version. Once I felt I was being more of that I wanted to write, I wanted to share, I wanted to show people that those two things are not an either or. I’ve been doing it more for children where yes, we educate kids above the neck, but their heart and soul and spirit is what matters. We want happy children and this is one of the ways to do that.Spiritual is the ability to connect with something greater than just yourself. Click To Tweet
I left corporate America twenty years ago. I was President of a national healthcare company and exuding tons of masculine energy and not being in my heart and being in my head. As I started my coaching and consulting business, I found I was more and more in my heart. I was embracing and letting my spiritual side out of the closet and I called it a comprehensive version. Your wording is so much more beautiful, the integrated version. People saw that either you could be this badass business person or you could be the soft little mushy heart person. I did for myself, even though the company is Heartrepreneur and I’m totally heart-based, I’m able to conduct business from that place and do it extremely well. Any comments about that?
You and I have the same experience where it took me a while to even soften into the fact that the feminine was just as needed, just as strong, and that it was possible. Even now, I have a four-year-old, whenever I’ve interviewed, I own it. I’m there saying I’m a full parent, wife, and partner and that there’s no hiding any aspects of your life. I feel like there’s a need to show that it’s possible to be a happy CEO. It doesn’t take unhappiness to get there or just excessive drive. I feel like there’s more and more of us that want to make a stand for the conscious part of what our choices are.
I was hiding. It’s interesting when you used the word hiding, I was like, “Wow.” In corporate America, it’s like, “I don’t want anyone to see these aspects of me because they may think I’m weak. I don’t want to show them.” I’m a much better CEO of the businesses I’ve been running for the last twenty years because I’m not hiding those aspects of me.
You take that life skill intuition, which is in the Giggles and Joy books. Most parents have never mentioned the word ‘intuition’ to their kids. It’s not something that’s valued and it’s something that kids think they’re going to be rewarded for, yet you know this in business at the highest level. Ultimately, beyond the data and the board meetings and everything they’re looking at, they have a gut feeling, “This is the time to sell the business. This is the time to do the merger or to hire the specific person.”
One of my things, intuition is typically seen as more of a feminine aspect. It was on the cover of Forbes Magazine as one of the highest forms of intelligence. My question is why aren’t we teaching this to our younger, tiny humans? Why is it all these other things that we’re teaching them when self-reliance, which is what intuition is, this ability of, “I have answers,” they might not be tangible, but there is something that I Know with a capital K.
I’m curious about one thing and I would like to ask you, “What is your definition of spiritual?” Many people have different definitions.
Spiritual, to me, is the ability to connect with something greater than just yourself. Life, universe, nature, your purpose, your connection with your fellow human beings, and your heart space, so much of like anti-spiritualist, mini-me, ego protection, survival, holding, keeping, protecting. To me, spiritual is a bit more of an opening and a connection with the universal side of other people, other aspects of what the world offers. When I talk about spiritual life skills, I’ve been asked a lot about that. It’s nurturing the child’s spirit or your own spirit, which is nurture the love. Nurture the hope, nurture the positivity, and nurture the humor. Nurture the not taking life so seriously. Nurture what’s below the neck, which has not been valued enough.
I am aligned with you. It’s no surprise that we have to be focused on the young people. We have to be more attuned to how we’re raising kids. We were having a conversation on a Facebook Live interview that I had with a psychologist and I said, “Why is it so cool now for people to think it’s okay for politicians to be rude, to be arrogant, and to lie, and whatever else they do, not calling out any particular politician?” She said, “I don’t disagree with what anybody does politically. However, the question I ask people is, do you want that politician to be a model for your kids?” I was curious about your thoughts on that topic.
I have a four-year-old and I asked him, “Do you think people are happy?” He said, “Yes, a lot of people on the planet are happy.” I said, “Who’s unhappy?” He says, “Certain people who are in certain positions of power.” We’ve talked about that and I thought, “For a child, what is happiness about? Where do they learn happiness?” All the research shows that the most important thing for a child to be happy is for each parent, individually, to be happy, not even together. When I look at what’s going on in a family or a household, I always go, “Is mom happy? What’s going on with the kid or when the kids acting out? Is dad happy?”
I don’t think we give ourselves permission to have that be a goal. Success is a goal, health is a goal and everything. Kids very quickly learn that you are your role model for your children, not the politicians currently. When I look at the judgment that’s being put out in the world or the divisive nature of what politics is, my question is, “What’s going on in my family? Who am I still judging? Who am I still hating? Where am I still feeling that I’m better or different than someone else?” That’s where I can heal it. That’s where I can be a better example of not being okay in my house. I can’t control anyone else.
That is what it’s about. What is it that we can do as parents to raise our conscious kids? What do we do about the schools, which perhaps aren’t quite doing that?
I’ve done readings in schools. I’m giving books away to schools just to make it easier for them. I would never label or assume that any teacher does not want to do this or any parents is not already trying their best to give kids life skills. I feel meeting them side-by-side with what they’re already doing. Parents need to be told what they’re not doing or what’s missing. Certainly our poor, underpaid teachers don’t. It’s school by school, teacher by teacher, classroom by classroom and it’s also each parent at a time. My kid’s going to public school, I’m asking about mindfulness. I’m asking about leading a meditation. I’m asking you wellness in the classroom. One parent that cares about it can introduce it. I don’t expect them to do the work or them to do the change. It’s also a way of volunteering something that’s important for you. Never underestimate the power of one parent wanting to contribute this to their child’s classroom.
It starts with one person and the one person passes forward where they can pass through and the next person passes it through and passes it through. I started Heartrepreneur I was one voice. Now, we’re like 2,500 voices singing off the same page and we’re making a difference in making a change that way. Tell us where to get your books, where to connect with you. I know many of our audience want to be more mindful. They want to grow their business. They want to be awake and conscious and at the same time, many are parents and grandparents.All the research shows that the most important thing for a child to be happy is for each parent individually to be happy, not even together. Click To Tweet
You can be happier parents and it will impact your business. You bring all of what’s going on at home to your work and you bring everything that’s going on at work to your child. Many times on some form of interaction with my son or it’s not where I’d like it to be, I always check in and I go, “What’s going on with me?” I have too much work or I had an email that upset me or I didn’t get a client. I want to make sure that that is clean and that is not the reactivity that gets put on my child. That has nothing to do with him. I’m a big believer in both being possible. The books are available on Amazon. They’re available either individually. There are three separate books or as a gift set, which I recommend getting all three. They’re 24 life skills in total.
The website is GigglesAndJoy.com. There are a lot of parents and lovely people who’ve endorsed our books, Oprah’s parenting experts. These are books that children need at this time and age. On my personal website, there’s one-on-one coaching. I’m also doing an online course for parents or any type of caregiver, which is how do you teach intuition to a child? How do you teach in a self-forgiveness to a child? How do you teach the child to tell the truth, practically speaking, beyond just the kid’s book? That website is ArianeStudio.com.
Your book sounds amazing and I’m going to pick this up because I have eighteen great nieces and nephews. If anyone in the audience who knows of children, go ahead and pick up the books. For all of you who were in the Heartrepreneur family and listening to the show, these topics, to me, are important. Parenting, mindful living, conscious business, being happy. I could feel you in this interview, Arianne. I want to thank you. You have a beautiful heart and thank you for being here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share. It’s very important that we care deeply about our tiny humans.
For our audience, thank you once again for being on the show. If you are not yet a member of our Heartrepreneur Community, we are inviting you and Ariane to join HeartrepreneurAcademy.com, where we have our forums, where you can share your expertise, you can engage with other speakers, trainers, authors, coaches, and consultants. We’ve got lots of people there to chat with you and to give you advice and where you can get advice. Join our Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine Facebook family. We are truly in community and Heartrepreneurs do business with Heartrepreneurs. Thank you again for tuning in here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
- Ariane de Bonvoisin
- Giggles and Joy Spiritual Life Lessons For Kids
About Ariane de Bonvoisin
Ariane writes, coaches and speaks frequently on issues of personal and professional change, happiness and inspiration, entrepreneurship, women in the workplace, parenting and the topic of mindful living and conscious business. She has spoken at companies such as Google, Twitter, Morgan Stanley, Investec, The IDB, KPMG, Essilor, Nestle and Redbull amongst others. She has also been a keynote at events including Oprah’s Conference, Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference, the Multimillion Dollar Roundtable (MDRT) and other international conferences.
She has written articles for media outlets including Fast Company, Business Week, Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Town & Country, Advertising Age, the New York Daily News, Huffington Post and Reader’s Digest among others. She has also been written about in Forbes and USA Today. Ariane grew up in six countries across three continents. With a degree in economics and international relations from the London School of Economics at the age of 19, Ariane began her professional career at The Boston Consulting Group working in over a dozen countries. After an MBA from Stanford University, she moved to New York, working with media companies Bertelsmann and Sony.
In 2000, she joined Time Warner as the Managing Director of a new $500 million digital-media venture fund. She founded and was CEO and Chief Change Optimist ofFirst30Days.com, a New York City-based media company focused on guiding people through all types of changes. Ariane has appeared on dozens ofTV and radio shows, including NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Early Show, CNN and ABC News Now.
Ariane’s book entitled, “The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier” was published by Harper Collins and reached the bestseller list. The book has now been translated in over a dozen languages. Her most recent book series, “Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids”, covers important life skills for children ages birth through ten. She was recently a TED Resident in NYC, exploring how best to incorporate life skills in various forms of media to reach children. Her TED talk, on what life skills we need to be teaching our kids, will be available in the fall of 2018. She is also the co-founder of Mindful365; www.mindful365.com a website and smartphone app that helps people live consciously a day at a time.
She is also an accomplished athlete, having been a competitive swimmer, a ski instructor, and a runner in a series of marathons and triathlons. She also reached the summit ofMt. Kilimanjaro and accompanied a group of students to Antarctica. She was most recently part of a movie called The Highest Pass (www.thehighestpass.com)- a motorcycle journey through the highest roads in the Himalayas. She currently lives in New York City, with her partner Alfie and her son, Everest.
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- Terri Levin LinkedIn