Oct. 12, 2021

48 : Choosing Who You Want To Be with Mounira Latrache


Welcome to The Mindful FIRE Podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond. I'm your host, Adam Coelho and I'm so glad you're here.

On today's episode. I'm joined by my friend Mounira Latrache.

Mounira is the founder of Connected Business, which helps companies and individuals develop self-leadership and co-leadership, which empowers them to live more meaningful, connected, and compassionate lives.

Mounira brings 15 plus years of leadership experience at international brands like Google, Red Bull and BMW. Mounira was a pioneer of Google's mindfulness community and it’s success led her to teach mindfulness and train teams at other companies around the world.

Mounira is a member of The Mindful Leadership Institute and internationally certified Search Inside Yourself facilitator, and she gives mindfulness and compassion, keynotes and training all over the world.

Mounira's own mindfulness practice gave her the tools to become a more effective leader and she is passionate about empowering others to lead more meaningful, connected, and compassionate lives.

In this conversation Mounira shares her journey through life and  how an insight that came out of suffering of not fitting in as a young person, helped her to realize that she could craft and create her own life and way of showing up in the world.

And that has guided her to really design her life in a way that is meaningful and purposeful for her. And she's brought this to bear both in the corporate world and now as an entrepreneur, leading trainings and working with companies to help them develop more self-leadership and co-leadership within their teams.

And we really dive deep into these ideas of self-leadership and co-leadership as well.

I really enjoyed this conversation with my friend Mounira and I hope that you enjoy it as well.

Connect with Mounira Latrache:

Books:

Resources:

Each Tuesday I release a guided meditation or inspiring interview on the topics of mindfulness and financial independence. Subscribe for future meditations and episodes!

Transcript

[00:00:00] 

[00:00:04] Adam Coelho: welcome to the mindful fire podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond I'm your host, Adam Coelho and I'm so glad you're here on today's episode. I'm joined by my friend Mounira Latrache. 

[00:00:19] Mounira is the founder of connected business, which helps companies and individuals develop self-leadership and co-leadership, which empowers people to live more meaningful, connected, and compassionate lives. 

[00:00:31] mounira brings 15 plus years of leadership experience at international brands like Google, Red Bull and BMW. Monira was a pioneer of Google's mindfulness community and its success led her to teach mindfulness and train teams at other companies around the world. 

[00:00:47] Mounira is a member of The Mindful Leadership Institute and internationally certified Search Inside Yourself facilitator, and she gives mindfulness and compassion, keynotes and trainings all over the world.

[00:00:59] Mounira's own mindfulness practice gave her the tools to become a more effective leader and she is passionate about empowering others to lead more meaningful, connected, and compassionate lives.

[00:01:09] In this conversation Mounira shares her journey through life and how an insight that came out of suffering of not fitting in as a young person, helped her to realize that she could craft and create her own life and way of showing up in the world.

[00:01:22] And that has guided her to really design her life in the way that is meaningful and purposeful for her. And she's brought this to bear both in the corporate world and now as an entrepreneur, leading trainings and working with companies to help them develop more self-leadership and to develop more co-leadership within their teams.

[00:01:42] And we really dive deep into these ideas of self-leadership and co-leadership as well. 

[00:01:47] You can find the full show notes for today's episode, including all of the books, resources and links mentioned in the episode at Mindful fire.org/ 48. 

[00:01:55] I really enjoyed this conversation with my friend Mounira and I hope that you enjoyed as well. 

[00:02:00] Let's jump into today's episode.

[00:02:03] 

[00:02:13] Adam Coelho: Welcome to the mindful fire podcast. Monira. I'm so glad to have you here. 

[00:02:17] Mounira Latrache: I'm so glad to be here too. As you might hear it from my voice, I'm really excited to talk to you again. 

[00:02:24] Adam Coelho: Yeah. It's been a while. I'll just quickly tell the audience how we know each other Mounira and I'm. We're trying to figure it out.

[00:02:30] I think it's about five years ago now when I was going through the search inside yourself, facilitator training and Mounira was a experienced facilitator at Google, and they flew her from Germany to mountain view where she was mentoring us on our facilitation style and getting us ready to go out into Google and teach mindfulness and emotional intelligence through the search inside yourself program.

[00:02:58] And Mounira and I, went for a walk one day and just had a really good chat about life and everything and really connected. Kept in touch ever since. But it's been a while since we've seen each other. So it's really Exciting to have you here. And I knew when I started this podcast that I had to have you on here to share your story with the audience. And so it's super exciting to have your 

[00:03:17] Mounira Latrache: Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited. 

[00:03:20] Adam Coelho: So I'd love to start by having you share a little bit about who you are, your journey through life and what you're up to now.

[00:03:28] Mounira Latrache: If you would just look at what I've done so far, I was working in a few big corporates. I worked for BMW for red bull and Google. I was actually doing marketing communications in those corporations. And my last job at Google was I was head of PR and afterwards I was managing the YouTube space.

[00:03:50] And five years ago I decided to quit my job at Google to launch my own startup and business. And I've been running that ever since training and coaching more than 10,000 people in these last years. And although this all sounds like really awesome. And when you just hear those names and figures, that might be like a success story, but really the personal success story for me, my life to really have found this way of living my authentic life out of a place of choice. 

[00:04:22] And I have struggled a lot. I still remember when I was starting out in corporate environments and after I think one year in business, I felt really lost and empty, and I felt like I've lost my way in a way, and at the beginning I was looking at the environment and I felt like there was too much control and too much dishonesty.

[00:04:42] And I was like blaming everyone around me. And I just didn't like the way we behave towards each other. But then I had this moment of truth looking into the mirror and looking at myself and just looking and seeing, I didn't even like myself. Like I could see that many of those behaviors that I judged about others, I was doing them myself.

[00:05:04] And it just happened. I was in this environment and doing what everyone else was doing. And I just lost who I wanted to be. so finally, this is actually a story that I had from early childhood on, because I was born in Germany and in South Bavaria as a child of a guest work of family from Tunisia.

[00:05:23] And I had a very similar situation when I was there and I looked differently than everyone. No one could spell my name. And I felt like I wasn't fitting in really. So what do you do if you don't fit in as a little girl, you try to fit in. You tried to do everything to be part of the group, because you don't want to be excluded all the time.

[00:05:44] And I was suffering with it because whatever I was doing, I was never really fitting in. One day in my teenage years I was dying my hair. So I, you have to know right now I'm wearing my hair curly as they are.

[00:05:56] But when I was younger, I made them always straight because the truth is, I didn't think I'm beautiful if I don't have straight hair, like my blonde friends who had like these thin blonde straight hair. And that was for me beautiful. What I had were these curly hair that were all over the place and I hated them and I hated my looks and everything about that. And one day I was sitting there crying because they wouldn't get straight in the way I wanted them. 

[00:06:24] But then I had this epiphany in that moment to see, if I'm not this, and I'm not really Tunisian because I've never lived there and don't know anything about the country.

[00:06:34] Maybe I can just choose who I want to be. I can just choose who I am. And I don't know what hit me there, but that was my decision back then. And when I found myself in the business world, in this environment that had all these rules and I wanted to fit in and I tried, but then I look into the mirror and I'm like, I hate myself the way I am right now.

[00:06:55] I remembered that choice. I remembered, wait a second. I can choose who I want to be. I don't need to behave in the way everyone else does just because everyone else does. I can define how I want to show up for others, how I want to create my own life and what is really important for me. So as this sounds like a really easy choice, it's been really hard and it took me many years. I'm still on that journey. But the core of what I learned and what I also did implement in those business settings was this question. Can I be totally authentic to my values? And can I live according to my passion and really bring my purpose and what's important for me into everything I do no matter which job which company I work with? And can I just create this environment the way I want to. 

[00:07:46] I read this really cool book from Stephen Covey's seven habits of highly effective people as one of my favorite. Of all times and he says, you just have to find your area of influence, and all the books I've read.

[00:07:58] And I read like hundreds and hundreds of books because I can be totally obsessed about things when I start wanting to find out. So I was obsessed about trying those things out in real life and see if it's possible. Is it possible that I can actually bring all those aspects that I want to bring into the business world into it?

[00:08:17] And it worked every time I tried it again and again, and I noticed, you know what? It doesn't matter where I work. It doesn't matter what my role is. One example was I wanted to empower other people. So I was head of PR. That's not really a job where you empower other people, not like in the obvious way but I was thinking, how can I empower other people?

[00:08:37] Because that's what I'm passionate about. What I did was I was asking myself, how can I empower the journalists I work with every day? How can I power the YouTube creators that I was working with? How can I power up the colleagues I'm working with all the time? And I just kept doing it.

[00:08:53] Until one day I actually got promoted and became the head of the YouTube space. And when I asked my former boss, he's not my boss now anymore. Why he picked me? He said, yeah, because you're doing it already. You're already empowering those people. That's why it's your job now. And I'm like, oh, really?

[00:09:10] So in a way, following my passion has given me my profession, and so it basically, it started following me instead of me applying for something and reaching for it. And actually that's the same thing that happened with my new business, because what happened is. For years and years I became this mindfulness teacher within Google as Search Inside Yourself.

[00:09:32] But then I also, was helping to build up an internal community within Google. And then I felt, wow, this is too good not to share outside of Google. So I started sharing it outside of Google and then people outside of Google asked me, can you come to our company and talk about what you're doing?

[00:09:49] And then I organized the first European search inside yourself training that was public. And I just wanted to share it outside of the company. And then more and more people approached me until I didn't have the capacity to help them anyway. And I thought, okay, who am I going to hand over those projects and say, can you please do it?

[00:10:09] And I didn't find anyone who could do it, not in the way that speaks to this business language. And at the same time brings in most mindful topics back then. Right now, it's different. But back then there was no one doing that. And so basically the business came to me. It was like, this problem came to me and people kept asking and approaching me and I was like, okay, no one is doing it.

[00:10:30] I don't know who to give it to. And people say, yeah, but that's your job already. So you might as well do it full time, and and that's what I'm doing ever since then.

[00:10:40] Adam Coelho: That's very cool. I'm struck by the self-awareness that you have as a teenager, that came out of that suffering that you were feeling. That I can just create the life I want. I can decide who I want to be. 

[00:10:51] You have that insight? And then what did you do about it? How did you operationalize that in your life? 

[00:10:57] Mounira Latrache: We're first and foremost, it was something in my head, right? It was this story in my head that I need to be part of one group or box.

[00:11:07] Otherwise I'm not worth it. And just understanding no, I can just redefine a new category and that category is how I want to create it. And if some people don't like me this way, it's okay. What I'm saying now, it sounds so easy, but it was guided by years and years of suffering and not fitting in and not knowing who I was and not really feeling at home in any culture because my mother would say, you're Tunisia and you will always be Tunisian.

[00:11:35] Nothing's gonna ever change. But when I went to Tunisia, everyone was like, this is the one from Germany. And also I never lived there. The culture is very different to the German culture. So I was also not really what I was used to. So it was the suffering of not being one or the other. And no one understanding it because my mother didn't understand.

[00:11:58] She said, what's the problem. You're Tunisian. Why you're even doubting? And funny thing, I'm doing a mentorship program right now with 10 Immigrant women, it's a women program, but they all have migration background like me and we all have the same problem or had the same problem in our young ages that we didn't feel we fit in.

[00:12:18] And we all shared that our parents didn't understand that. And the people who were born there with the same heritage, they also didn't feel the same way. So it's a thing. When you are from a migration background, you have these existential crisis, but also funnily, you develop a resilience towards not fitting in because you have to cope with it.

[00:12:39] So there were two options for me either. It's gonna, pull me down all the time or I'm just gonna take the wave and really ticket. So I was like, if I'm not one or the other, then instead of putting all my energy into fitting. Let's just explore if I'm not fitting in how that would look like, does that make sense?

[00:12:58] Did I answer your question? I'm not sure. 

[00:13:00] Adam Coelho: It does make sense. And it's really interesting because I feel like when we're teenagers, I feel like everyone's trying to fit in. Even the people who do fit in are trying to fit in, but I can definitely see how coming from a different place that's very different from where you are growing up would make you feel in between. And so it's probably a heightened sense of that. 

[00:13:23] But yeah, I feel like, I'm still trying to fit in, like I feel like we're all trying to figure out where we are.

[00:13:30] We get to an age where we start to accept ourselves as we are, but then again, it's one thing to think about. Okay. I can decide who I want to be. I think it's a whole nother thing to get really clear on who that is and how I want to show up and then to actually show up in that way.

[00:13:49] And I know that's a lot of the work that you help people do. And so I'd love to have you talk a little bit about the work that you do at connected business. 

[00:13:58] Mounira Latrache: Yes, sure. So yes, this is a huge part because it has been such a huge part of my journey. And as you just said, it's so difficult. It's not just saying, oh, I go my own way.

[00:14:09] But the other question is what is my own way? How does it look. And am I on the path or not. And that was exactly when I was in this business setting and there, I actually found exactly what you said before. We all feel this way, right? It doesn't matter if it's the heritage, but in the end, when we are in a group setting, we all want fit in.

[00:14:31] So in this environment in business, I felt like everyone wants to fit in because that's how we feel comfortable as a tribal being that we naturally are. And naturally not fitting into the tribe meant you're going to die without the tribes. So that's the underlying deeper fear that is there that obviously, I didn't know that back then just many years later and still ask myself, what does it mean.

[00:14:56] What do I need to find my own way? What do I do? What are the steps to take? Already the questions, what are your values overwhelmed me? Because of course I could make a list of values, but they were really shallow. I really couldn't access them fully. Not in the way I can access them today. And so I went to all those different things, like what are my values?

[00:15:18] What are the actual strengths, not the ones that are in my CV, but really the strengths that I'm inheriting in the depth that I don't even have to think about. And then also what's my purpose in the form of what's the contribution I'm having in this life, what's my life's journey. What's the truth, what's the lie and the conditioning and everything that keeps me from it.

[00:15:41] And what's my actual truth? And then also, how can I keep staying in this. Even if things get crazy or even if I don't fit in or people judge me or even loved ones who are close to me, judge me for it and don't understand how can I stick to this? And so those questions I really exercised finding those answers for 15 years now.

[00:16:04] And I also put them into practice seeing, how does it look like, how do I implement that? Is this even possible? And I found it is possible, but it's a journey. It's not like you ask yourself one question and then it's happening. It's a real journey. But what connected business is doing an one path is actually all those things that I found out for myself that worked for me.

[00:16:28] And that helped me to go deeper. We put this together into the authentic self-leadership journey, where we really like going through all those different steps and helping people to explore those steps and understanding their own journey better because that's what many people say, okay, I really want that, but I don't even know where to start because that's such a big issue for many people.

[00:16:49] That's, I'm passionate about sharing them with people and guiding them through a process that they can come closer to that. But the other part that connects businesses doing, is we're connecting a journey from self-leadership to co-leadership and because I was in this self-leadership journey and I loved it, and I found wow, it's amazing to find your own path and to become more conscious and more clear about how you want to interact with others and your own boundaries, but then you always have other people. You're not alone in this world doing your own thing.

[00:17:20] And when you have even one more person, it gets complicated. And then if you have a team or a group and that's what I saw in organizations that they said, it's awesome to have something like a Search Inside Yourself training but what comes after that? How do we implement this in our team and group?

[00:17:36] And luckily, my co-founder, he is an expert in co-creation. So he has worked for 15 years and train teachers in co-creation, specifically dragon dreaming, which is a co-creative method. He found a way that people in a group and team can be empowered, have a trustful way of doing things and then find co-creative solution when no one person is in leadership, but everyone is creating it and everyone has values and needs and passions are.

[00:18:07] But what he found is there was a number one factor why those projects didn't work and it was, they didn't do the inner work. They were doing advanced group stuff, but they weren't ready for it personally. Because in order to really be co-creative, I need to be in my power in order to not be jealous or trying to put someone else down or control someone else I need to be in my own strengths first. Has a lot to do to letting go of control and being in trust.

[00:18:36] And also the awareness, like many of us still go into control. I'm one of them I love to be in control. I love that. But then having the awareness in moments when you are in control to step back and to see where the second I'm not creating trust right now, I'm creating control that's self-awareness that's self-leadership that needs to be trained.

[00:18:56] Otherwise in those group context, we can't. What we found is we need to support organizations to do both the self-leadership is the first step without it. You can't really go into teamwork in the same way. And then we guide those organizations step by step into co-leadership. Yeah. So first of all it's about relations and relating to others and how our own conditioning relates to conditioning of others and so on.

[00:19:24] And then it's really, how do we show up as a group that creates trust psychological safety and co-create in an empowered way, and also knows when it's not there right now is when there's a friction or a conflict. And instead of ignoring it or pretending, it's all good to really go in there and look at it with honesty.

[00:19:45] And yeah, so that's what we do. 

[00:19:47] Adam Coelho: It's very interesting. 

[00:19:48] I'd love to dive into this idea of self-leadership for a moment because it is foundational. And as you said before, you can move to working with others. You need to first work with yourself, understand yourself and have compassion for yourself. And so talk a little bit about how you'd guide someone practically to develop this self-leadership as you call it. 

[00:20:12] Mounira Latrache: So there's different methods and it's all mindfulness based.

[00:20:17] I think mindfulness is, as you said at the beginning, it's one of those tools that we actually need because we need to access a different way of being that is not in our mind, right? We can't think our way into understanding our path and who we are. And mindfulness just helps us really to have a different awareness about.

[00:20:38] And so one part that I'm doing a lot with people is to strengthen that awareness, to really strengthen their own self-awareness and their own understanding about themselves. And part for me of self-awareness is understanding your own conditioning, really understanding what conditioning is, but also what's my conditioning.

[00:20:57] What are the things that hold me back that I am not even aware of. It's also to do with shadow work, like understanding your own shadows better. And so that's like a whole big thing. And how I do it is when we are in group settings, it's always two things. Number one is you have this topic and you explain it and you go through the topic.

[00:21:17] But the other thing is you have a struggle in real life. It doesn't matter what, and that struggle in real life. Shows you a lot about your own conditioning and it teaches you a lot about being aware of what's happening because every example in life that you struggle with can be used to unravel those things.

[00:21:36] It's actually the best thing, because then you don't just create an artificial environment for someone, but you really go into what bothers them right now. And that unravels where there's a shadow, a conditioning or like an old story or a struggle that has been there for a while that has nothing to do with the situation.

[00:21:56] That changes the way you behave. So that's one part then the other part is really to unravel what's your path? What is your deepest contribution? Something that is totally in alignment. And let's say basically something you have always done. You just don't know. 

[00:22:15] So that's my theory is the purpose is nothing that like is somewhere there and we have to find it. I think it's the other way round. It's there all along. We just have to remember it or to step back to something that is so natural to us, that we can't even see it. And that's what we're doing. We're unraveling, what's really important for them in their path and what's their life journey wide.

[00:22:37] And it has a lot to do with your life journey. 

[00:22:39] Adam Coelho: Yeah. Do you mind giving an example from your life going through this and learning more about yourself, how you looked at a specific, difficult situation that helped you identify some conditioning or shadow work, and then how you went about remembering your purpose. I really liked that. Cause I can resonate and I can share as well, but I'd love to have you to share a personal example of how this showed up in your life. So people can practically think about it for themselves. 

[00:23:07] Mounira Latrache: Sure. So one example is a work example that was at the time when I was still doing PR and in that time I had a lot of critical phone calls like Journalists calling me and asking me certain questions. And I remember I was sitting on this phone all day and I got really frustrated because all the questions were very negative and I was fighting with them.

[00:23:30] Like I was fighting with them because they wanted to create a negative story. And I knew that they caught me with that intention. And everyday I would go home and I was frustrated and I didn't like my job. And I basically wanted to quit. I'm like, that's not fun. I don't want to keep doing it.

[00:23:45] And I have worked my ass off all day. And at the end of the day, I still feel out of energy and not good. So I was like, what's the point? And then I just took a step back and really connected with myself. And so one of the things that I noticed was I noticed one of my conditioning's. I took it very personal.

[00:24:06] What happened there? So that was one of the things that I really took it all on it, as if it was my responsibility. And that's one of the conditionings. Keep having that in my life that I'm overly taking responsibility for other people and other things. And because of that, I couldn't just, say, oh, it's just the call, but for me it was a life story.

[00:24:27] So that's one of the things that I saw. And the other thing was, I became very defensive because I felt I'm being attacked. And that was the other part. So once I noticed that and I could just let go of that and see the perspective what's the journalist doing? Well, they just want to do their job.

[00:24:44] Number one, number two, asking those questions is that job, so then I just decided I'm going to. see only that intention, this person is doing their job and they need to ask those questions because they need to have those answers for doing their job properly. And when I did that, but also being aware of that conditioning that already knowing about the conditioning made a drop and it wasn't that bad at all anymore.

[00:25:11] It already lightened up the whole situation. But then also like shifting my perspective. I had the best conversations ever since then. I had so much fun with those journalists. And in the end of the day, I was happy. They were happy. Some of them even wrote an amazing article afterwards that I was cheered up for from my boss, because it was so positive and amazing and perfect.

[00:25:37] And the only thing I did was just changing my internal chatter about it and my internal way of being in that moment, I behave differently towards those journalists and they could feel that because instead of being defensive and making this big story out of it I met them as a person, and I just had a good conversation with them coming from the space of, I want to be of service for you to do your job perfectly, and I'm going to help you with that.

[00:26:05] There's so many elements with it, but that was one of my real big power stories, understanding how important it is to understand my own conditioning, but also mindfulness because before I practice mindfulness, I wouldn't even, be able to spot all those details. 

[00:26:20] Adam Coelho: I totally agree. And yeah, I really appreciate you sharing that example because it makes it very real for people.

[00:26:28] For me, mindfulness was that tool that allowed me to step back and not be so caught up in the story that was going in my head, but to be more able some of the time to see the story from an objective third party observer. And that allowed me to start to see some of that conditioning. For me, have to learn lessons multiple times to really take them on, but like one of them is. I always feel like I'm doing things wrong and that there's some right way of doing things. And I don't know what that is. I couldn't actually define it, but I know for sure I'm not doing it that right way.

[00:27:08] That shows up in my life in a lot of ways, like procrastination and avoiding things and just not stepping into do things that I want to do, including the podcast. The podcast was an idea for a long time and it wasn't happening because I was afraid to do it wrong. And even still, I don't even like post on Instagram because I don't want to do it wrong.

[00:27:30] Like it's not an overt thing in my head, but it just keeps me from doing it. Like it doesn't really matter that much, but that's the conditioning that keeps me from really stepping into who I want to be. And another one, you mentioned dislike, like taking things personally and getting defensive. I was telling this story the other day on the podcast I was laughing because my wife was commenting about how it was hard to close this door.

[00:27:54] My dad came and he fixed this door, but now it's hard to close and lock the door and I was taking it so personally. I didn't fix the door. I am not the door. And yet I was thinking so personally and like getting annoyed and like defensive about this door and that shows up in so many areas of my life.

[00:28:12] And I can see how, being aware of that conditioning and then, choosing to show up a little bit differently and recognizing that person is just trying to do their job, could really free things up to be more easeful. And I think that's really helpful for people. 

[00:28:29] Mounira Latrache: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:28:30] And I feel like the biggest powerful part of it is, first of all, just being aware, just this awareness, it's wow, I didn't even know this. And then it feels like when you are aware, it already doesn't have the same power over you anymore. Like even if it catches you again and again.

[00:28:46] But it's not the same power anymore because it's there more in the open and that makes a huge difference. 

[00:28:52] Adam Coelho: Absolutely. And that's again where mindfulness comes in, mindfulness is the awareness, but it's also that kind curious attitude, this stuff still comes up for me all the time. But it's oh, there it is again. Yeah. Thank you. This is not useful. Let me move on. 

[00:29:07] Mounira Latrache: Yeah, absolutely. Or you recognize it a little bit earlier than usual, right? Like maybe in the past, it would've taken you weeks and months to even see something. And now you can see it in the same day. 

[00:29:20] Adam Coelho: Certainly when I find myself getting triggered by something, my wife says, or I, am not as patient with my son or something.

[00:29:27] I can recognize that a lot more quickly and then repair more easily. 

[00:29:31] So let's talk a little bit about that second aspect of self-leadership. How do you help people figure out what their life path is, and to start walking that way? 

[00:29:41] Mounira Latrache: Well theres different elements to it?

[00:29:43] Simon Sinek has a really great process. It's called the why process. I really love that process. I do it with my clients because I think it's great and effective, and it's just very well put together. And basically what the process is doing is you go back in your past and look at certain situations that you have experienced and how you reacted to them and what made them significant for you.

[00:30:09] So like that way, we unraveled a few things that have been important for you all your lifelong and see what that means for you. My contribution in your life. And I love it so much because in the many times I've done it with people I can tell. It's so much more grounded because it's not just something you come up with, like an idea, but it's really rooted in your life story.

[00:30:34] And also because I see it in my own life story, when I look into what's my contribution, what's the purpose that I'm living. It has a lot to do with my own journey. Why? Because the things that you struggled with, they, I'm very close to what you want to help others with. not saying it's always a hundred percent the same, every person is differently, but that's one of the things that seems to be a common denominator to really see what are we passionate about and helping us with already, or whole lifelong. did we care about? And again, obviously there's this part of helping other people.

[00:31:09] And the other part is where's the conditioning as well. So in my story, as an example, I always help other people, that was always in my dreams, but it was a very sacrificing way of how I did it and that wasn't healthy. And that was my conditioning. The conditioning was I'm only worth if I help people or do something for other people.

[00:31:30] So that part I needed to obviously look at and heal, because that wasn't really my purpose or my life story. That was just my conditioning wanting to reenact the same thing, because that meant to me I'm loved and seen and valued. So I had to really watch it not only for me, but also for the people I help because there was an expectation towards it because I needed love back.

[00:31:53] But at the same time, over the years, working with the conditioning, I could go back to saying, but being of service is still one of my, life paths that is deeply integrated, but it just became a different way of being of service, which is, an alignment with my boundaries and what's, coming from a place of fullness and self-love not from a place of self hatred and sacrifice. That's the healing journey. That's why conditioning, shadow work, and self-awareness so connected with purpose. It's not two different things. It's actually very connected with each other.

[00:32:29] What also for me is part of purpose in this journey. The real strength that we have, some of those strengths are strengths. We wouldn't even define a strength and really uncovering those and then looking into values, but going into a bit more depth into what that really means. And also what does value mean and the lived version because of value as a word, doesn't really mean a thing, but really saying what are the actions we want to put into our life that define those values.

[00:33:00] And the other part is really reconnecting to our inner voice intuition. That part of us that is not the analytical mind speaking to us, but that part of us that it's not that loud, but it's still giving us a lot of answers to our questions and we have unlearned. To see or hear those answers because that's not how we grew up.

[00:33:24] We grew up in thinking and analytical and the answers were all in our head. This is our reality. It's like the head and the mind is our master. It tells us every answer. So many people come actually to me and say, I'm in between two life choices and I don't know which decision to take. And then we go there and they say, oh, these are the pros and cons.

[00:33:45] And I'm saying, we are not even looking at the pros and cons because that's not the answer, but that's what we do as humans. We're so in this, but the pros and cons don't matter what matters is really like getting into. And it's sounds cliche. The answers are within, but actually learning relearning to get back into your inner answers.

[00:34:08] That's one of the biggest parts to actually living your contribution and purpose. That's actually at least my experience and my clients say that this funnily, because intuition, wasn't so much part of what I wanted to teach. I just brought it in once in a while, but it's always a favorite topic, everyone.

[00:34:26] And I'm like, really? Yeah. It surprised me a long time. But that seems to be something that people feel, they feel there's something, I can tell there's a voice, but I can't access it. 

[00:34:37] Adam Coelho: Yeah, that totally resonates with me. I went to a retreat a few years ago with Jon Kabat-Zinn in New York and it was this amazing situation where everything just lined up perfectly and I was able to go.

[00:34:49] And the big takeaway from that retreat was like, I need to trust myself. Trust in myself and trust in my experience, both like my life experience and my experience in the moment. And I'm curious how you talk to people about accessing that intuition. Kind of exercising that muscle because, I know this is two and a half years ago, and still a work in progress over here.

[00:35:14] I feel like I, and many people we're always looking outside of ourselves for the right way to do things or the right answer. And maybe that's just my conditioning, but yeah. How do we practice listening to that voice inside and giving it more weight? 

[00:35:30] Mounira Latrache: I think we all have that because that's how we learned.

[00:35:34] And I was the same. I wasn't really accessing my intuition in. But I always knew there was something talking to me and I just didn't listen to it because I also thought it's just stupid. There's also a judgment towards that, which is either I'm listening to my mind or I'm Cuco everything else it's not analytical.

[00:35:51] Or if I take a decision, it needs to be analytical and data-driven. And so the funny thing is if we really put our intuition into the mix, we have more data, not less. And I would say we could, as humanity actually communicate without words much more. If we would allow ourselves to go back into that intuitive way of being, because that's actually our nature a lot.

[00:36:15] And so first of all, mindfulness, obviously, we all know that when we go into a mindfulness retreat, we have more switched on to what really matters to us. That's just how it is. Or if I'm doing my yoga practice, I'm more tuned in to that. It has a lot to do with experiencing it. So when I'm doing this with my clients, obviously explain them the concept of that.

[00:36:36] But the real work is really experiencing in a practicing to listen to another language. And that language is not the language of the minds. That's more the language of the body. It's the language of all of our senses. It's also different from, to be very specific. Every person has a different way of accessing intuition.

[00:36:58] Some are more visual, some are more like using their, the hearing smells. It's so interesting. Sometimes you go into a room and you've noticed the smell and all of a sudden you feel disconnect. The mind says, yeah. Okay. It smells weird. Let it go. But the intuition would say, wait a second.

[00:37:17] Something isn't feeling quite right here, and then you are like accessing that you're tuning into it and that's the thing. So instead of just judging everything with your mind, you start to create those neural pathways towards those other senses that we have that see so much more.

[00:37:34] One of my teachers, she calls it, seeing skills. You see a person beyond what is said, and we all know we can actually, it's just this capacity to let go of what our mind wants to explain about it. And that's something we need to train and do on a regular base. But it's easier than most people think.

[00:37:54] I have a lot of head driven people that I work with and some of my clients are lawyers or bankers and they are like, oh, I, that's not my thing. But then the access it actually quite easy. 

[00:38:06] Adam Coelho: Yeah. I think that's really helpful because the more that I experience it and trust it, the easier it becomes to remember to check in and to notice it when it's happening.

[00:38:18] And obviously the more I practice mindfulness the more I'm able to do that as well. 

[00:38:23] Mounira Latrache: And it's what is your go to muscle? So in mindfulness, we say, it's a muscle that you train and the more you train a certain muscle, the more this muscle gets developed and same thing with intuition.

[00:38:35] So if we keep, developing the intuition muscle, which means we are bringing attention towards that, the more it becomes stronger . And then at one point we're like, I can't believe I couldn't hear that before. So it becomes so natural to hear what the intuition says all the time.

[00:38:52] And then you notice, wow. It was really like, I just didn't pay attention. That's why it didn't speak to me, but I was there all along. I just couldn't hear it. . 

[00:39:01] Adam Coelho: Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:39:02] Let me ask you this what is the role of envisioning in the work that you do and in helping people with their self-leadership?

[00:39:12] We talk about envisioning and search inside yourself. And I'll give you some context, within Google, we're now doing this search inside yourself, virtual program, and envisioning is not a part of that, unfortunately, in the version we're teaching. Yeah. The motivation section is not in the virtual program that we're doing.

[00:39:28] And it's my favorite section. So I am looking to, and I've already done it. I've led one session for a team at Google for women's history month and I'm looking to create a course around envisioning expanding the section that's in Search Inside Yourself. 

[00:39:45] But I'm curious, what do you see as the role of envisioning and in this self-leadership realm and how do you share it with people?

[00:39:52] Mounira Latrache: Yeah, first of all, I would never leave that out of SIY because I think it's such a crucial element and just say for those who, listen, I love it. And I'm doing the online version as well. I have taught I think, 15 online courses by now. And it's always in part of it is not cut out. Just sharing that Part 

[00:40:11] Adam Coelho: conversation with somebody.

[00:40:13] Mounira Latrache: Okay. Yeah. Let's have a conversation. I think to your question, envisioning is super important. It can't be cut out of finding our path because that's exactly what we need to go out of our conditioning. So if you think of conditioning as being like a cell or a cage that we put ourselves in, right?

[00:40:34] The vision is what helps us to see a different way of being. Envisioning is a powerful tool because it shows us the possibilities of a future life. And I've been using it my whole lifelong ever since. I had a crazy boss once and he was talking about these pictures. He sees in its heads.

[00:40:54] And first I thought he's really crazy, but he asked me to try it out. And then that picture became reality. And from that moment I was hooked and ever since then, I made those pictures about everything and every picture, every single one of them became my reality. And because envisioning is not just a picture, it's how you want to feel in life and really feeling your own future embodying it for a moment, which makes it real for you.

[00:41:21] And then from that moment on a part of you knows it's possible and that's the power of envisioning. So I love the idea that you want to put this into a course, and I think that's a huge, powerful way of supporting people to create their own future. 

[00:41:41] Adam Coelho: That's awesome. Thank you. For sharing that. I can't believe that it's in the virtual program and we just don't have it.

[00:41:46] It is such an important part and I have all these examples of like how I've done this in my life. Like this house, for instance. My dream has always been to design and build my own house. And sometimes I just get on a kick where I just can't stop envisioning that house for many years.

[00:42:03] And long story short, this house is that house, but I didn't have to build it. And it's better than I even imagined in a lot of ways. And I just had to happen upon it and buy it. It worked out beautifully. 

[00:42:15] And then had this situation. So the other day I was in Oxford, Mississippi of all places for my friend's wedding.

[00:42:24] And I'll tell you the pandemic doesn't exist and Mississippi it just doesn't. No one was wearing masks. Multiple people gave me crap for wearing a mask. It was really something, but it was a lot of fun, but I get to the point now. So I've been doing this podcast, and, put it out there hoping for the best, sometimes it feels like no one's listing and I'm putting this out into the void. But I was getting real revved up talking about financial independence, retire early this weekend for whatever reason.

[00:42:53] And I was walking into this bar and it was a college town. So there was a college kid who was a bouncer at this bar. And for whatever reason, had a few beers and I started talking to him and I'm telling him, Hey man, you could retire in 10 years, blah, blah, blah. And I'd tell them all about it.

[00:43:09] I tell them about the podcast. We had a good conversation and I went into the bar an hour later after, wearing two masks in this bar where no one else was wearing them and screaming at the top of their lungs. I leave. And as I'm leaving the bouncer says Hey this girl knows about your podcast.

[00:43:26] And some random girl, I think her name was Kaylee. She's like, yeah, Mindful Fire Podcast. She's like, that's your podcast. And I'm like, yeah, like, how do you know about it? And she's like, yeah, I just searched for mindfulness podcasts or something. And you came up and she's listened to three episodes and she really likes it.

[00:43:44] And I was like, oh my God, that is so wild that. The timing and everything worked out. 

[00:43:50] And then there was another aspect to it where I would like, so what are you doing? You know, Like you go to school here, whatever. And she's like, oh yeah, I just graduated with my criminal justice degree master's.

[00:44:00] And I'm like, oh my God, you gotta meet this woman. She's part of the wedding. She works for the FBI and she's like, yeah, I'm going to work for the FBI. And I'm like, yeah, she works with the FBI. And she's like, no, I'm going to work for the FBI.

[00:44:11] I'm starting next month. And I'm like, no way. And so I connect them and turns out they're going to be working in the same office in Florida for the FBI. What are the chances of that? So I didn't necessarily envision that, but I was joking with this FBI woman quite a few times throughout the weekend.

[00:44:30] And it just was this amazing, like I call it the universe. But synchronicity that just lined up like that. So anyways, envisioning is huge. And to your point about finding your path by looking at your life and what you've always been. But you were saying helping people and for me, it's connecting people.

[00:44:50] And so when she mentioned that she, graduated with a criminal justice degree or whatever my first instinct was connect her with this FBI person. She might be able to help her. And so my purpose is really all about creating opportunity through connection. And that is just come up again and again.

[00:45:08] That's what the whole podcast is about. And so that was a long spiel. Thanks for listening. 

[00:45:13] Mounira Latrache: Yeah. That's amazing. I love that story. And yeah I feel this connection very strongly with you totally fits. Yeah. And see, that's the thing. So we don't have to reinvent something new.

[00:45:25] The question is just, how can. Instead of saying, oh how can I make money with that? That's really work to really keep doing it because if we start doing it, it solves one of the things that people say, yeah. How can I achieve that? And one of the things that I always say is just do it in whatever way and then it might become your job just by you doing it.

[00:45:46] Instead of, the other way round, when we feel like, oh no, I have to have a degree for it. Or some kind of educational a lot. And then we wait for that until we do it. While doing it, it becomes our embodiment and then you're just connecting people anyways. Then the circumstances don't really matter.

[00:46:02] That's, I think one of the powerful things about selfless. 

[00:46:05] Adam Coelho: Absolutely. That's a really powerful point. I've spent a lot of my time, a lot of my mental energy saying if only this happened, then I'd be happy. If only I was retired, I'd be thrilled. Or if only I was in this job or, so many things like that.

[00:46:24] This podcast is about financial independence retire early, really it's about financial independence, but a lot of people feel that they need to just race to this finish line of having enough money, where they can retire.

[00:46:36] But when we just switched the way that we pay attention, in a lot of cases, we already have everything we want. For me I'm like, oh, if only I was retired, then I could teach mindfulness and get paid for it. It's like, oh, I guess I already do that.

[00:46:47] And I realize I either have it already or I can make it happen now. And so I think what you're saying is just do it, just figure out what you think you might want to be spending your time doing and then just do it. Yes. 

[00:47:01] Mounira Latrache: And what is so funny? One of my clients he just got a big job offer and at the same time, there's another option that he's thinking about, which is quitting his job and really following something that he noticed he's also passionate about.

[00:47:17] And so he's in between those two things, but what keeps him from actually pursuing that other option is the financial safety. And what I'm finding really funny is so like I'm having my own startup and, the financial stability of being in a big corporate, like Google, where you have this big salary, like that's obviously safety right in our heads.

[00:47:38] That's so safe. We have everything we need. But I had a hard moment myself in that moment. I said to him, you know what? I've never felt safer than right now, financially, although I'm not working for a big corporate that has all the safety thing, I feel safer than ever, because safety is also something that comes from the inside.

[00:47:59] It's a feeling of insight. If you feel safe or not, and then you don't need them financial stability to be safe. And that's the thing because money and having a certain income is also a construct. Oh, this makes me feel safe. Now I can do whatever I want, but what if the money system crashes, which it could happen?

[00:48:18] We all know. It's not just like a, far away idea. It could happen anytime. 

[00:48:24] Adam Coelho: It's happened many times before and it 

[00:48:26] will happen again.. 

[00:48:27] Mounira Latrache: Exactly. So what if that crashes, then safety needs to come from inside? Because not going to be outside. And that's actually really interesting for me. I have never felt so safe financially, even COVID.

[00:48:39] What COVID did is so we did all this in-person trainings, right? So we were fully booked for the whole year. Then COVID came, which meant all was canceled and postponed. So we were like, wow, wait a second. We have planned this whole year with a whole team and not all of them. Every hundred percent of the work was postponed.

[00:48:58] And then as we all know what happened then is come August and we see, oh, it's not going to be over yet. It's going to be a whole year. But instead of then going into fear mode and whoa, what do we doing? We are in crisis. What we did is okay, let's take vacation. So the four months we had no business, we were just like, I was fasting, doing a diet. I did everything else to make myself strong and healthy and happy. And then after four months I'm like, oh, maybe we should come up with an idea of how you react to this. And then out of this place of being grounded, being in connection, we said, maybe we make a concept of how to do certain things on.

[00:49:41] And then in November we said, okay, let's do some stuff online. And then we were fully booked until now. But the thing was we didn't jump into this financial safety thing. And I think one of the reasons why is because we started to train ourselves into just having that trust and safety inside of us, then no matter what happens, it's going to be okay.

[00:50:04] And we were even ready to say, if that's going to be the end of this company, then that's going to be the end of it. Then we will find something else or something else wants to emerge and that's going to be fine too. So there's a way of detaching from this outcome, from this company, from everything that we build up in our lives.

[00:50:26] And just noticing that As nice as it is to feel safe. It's also a cage and that cage sometimes traps us from actually living what's important to us because we think like normal, but I need that safety. 

[00:50:40] Adam Coelho: Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, if all your safety and your identity is tied up in a particular job or salary, if that goes away, what do you have?

[00:50:50] You're left with nothing. And so that's why this inner work is so important so that you have that foundation, that identity, that safety within yourself and that trust within yourself that, yeah, look, things are going to change. Things might not go the way I hope. But I know I trust myself that I can figure it out and I'll be okay.

[00:51:11] That's real. 

[00:51:13] Mounira Latrache: And that's actually what we need as a skill in the future, because COVID showed us how fast we can go from one moment to the other, into a global change and shifts that hasn't been there before. And it goes so fast. So the capacity for all of us to deal with whatever change and not to go into anxiety and not being able to cope with it, it's going to be a capacity.

[00:51:39] We all have to develop more because we need to trust even more in the future. It's not gonna be the last time things are crushing. And I guess, because we're so connected these days that it will always affect us globally, much more than it used to be in the past when no one was traveling and we were disconnected and we couldn't even know what's happening in other countries.

[00:52:02] And then there's the other part of all of this. Which is we're going towards a new paradigm. And this new paradigm is a different way of living and working together. And this new paradigm needs us to do the work, the self-leadership work in order to create this different society and world that we actually wish for, or many of us try to, start building, which is built on trust and co-creation and empowerment, and which creates different solutions that are sustainable and, basically a winning solution for everyone involved.

[00:52:39] And the cool thing about it is transformation means. Something has to die. Like there needs to be a death first, which is cool because everything that's crushing down right now is an opportunity to build it up new.

[00:52:53] Because if a house has been shaken by an earthquake before next time something comes is going to be falling down much easier. And that's how it is. If we want to change those things that are crumbling right now, we couldn't change because they had these walls around them. So now it's much easier to change those things because they're already a bit shaking. That's the big opportunity right now for all of us to go towards this paradigm shift.

[00:53:21] Adam Coelho: Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:53:23] And I guess now is as good a time as any to say that on that walk. I mentioned at the beginning Mounira actually got me into hugging trees. She was like hold on a second. I'm gonna step over here. And she just hugged this Redwood tree in mountain view, California.

[00:53:38] And I was like, what is she doing? She's you should try it. It feels really good. And then next thing you know, her and I are both hugging two different trees in some person who I think is new to California, new to Google. And he's like, so they really do hug trees here. And it was amazing. And now I, occasionally hugged trees and I always think of Mounira when I do it.

[00:53:58] So that's pretty funny. So no cutting down trees, people, Nope. Keep them in the ground. That's the oxygen you breathe. 

[00:54:03] So let's continue down this path around. Co-leadership. We've done the work. We have the self-leadership, which is a lifetime of work, I assume.

[00:54:13] But once we have some foundation there, what does co-leadership look like and how do you advise your clients or companies to make it happen, to start moving in that direction of co-leadership? 

[00:54:25] Mounira Latrache: So first obviously is to have that openness to what's really wanting to do it and not making a nice motto out of it. And it's so funny for me, many of our clients are actually going through a digital transformation process. And so we're all trying to be more agile. So that's the big, new, buzz word. Everyone wants to work in an agile way. And finally the principle of agile has a lot to do with co-creation because agile means to create trust in a way that you don't have to have one boss who tells you what's going to happen, but everyone is organically doing the right thing towards a certain common purpose.

[00:55:04] And everyone is empowered to do. So basically that's exactly where we're aiming towards co-creation is just this way of integrating everyone, even the ones who are not that dominant or loud. That's why I love it so much. We all know those moments in business meetings, when the same people always talk the loudest, the extroverts, more introvert people are, the ones who need a bit more thinking, to express themselves.

[00:55:29] They don't say anything, although they have a lot to say, but they're not included in the conversation. So co-creation already stops it there and says, wait a second, a conversation always needs to hear everyone involved and it's psychological safety. So everyone can be who they are in the way they are.

[00:55:47] So it's also empowering everyone in their reality with their own strengths, rather than you need to fit into this box. Otherwise you're not one of our valued employees. And so if an organization really wants that, first of all, this is not just a motto with a nice logo, but they need to really have this commitment to say, we want to do the work on an individual perspective, because as we said, self-leadership is the base.

[00:56:13] So first come self-leadership then Co-Leadership. So individually, but also as a team to take out time to really do this as a team, because you can talk all you want about it and read all the books about it, but then body. Yeah. The actual doing it makes a huge difference. 

[00:56:29] When we think of short-term goals and short-term achievements very often in a business environment, we need fast results.

[00:56:37] But the truth about these topics is you need to embody that and do it over and over again until you see real great results. But if you do it from now in the next 10 years, you're gonna have a huge advantage towards every other company who hasn't done the work, because then you're going to be ready to do the shift and the others will still be stuck in the old patterns, but it also means you have to let go of control and power and real letting go of power and control.

[00:57:07] And that's, I think the hardest part, because our systems and businesses are very much based on control and power. There is such an underlying denominator and that one needs to really be seen. the, met with awareness and a commitment to shift, which doesn't mean everyone needs to be perfect.

[00:57:26] It just means whenever anyone's spots it, and that's in co-creation anyone spots that it becomes part of bringing it to the light, it goes back into the circle. Someone addresses and say, I feel controlled right now. I don't feel like I have the freedom to do what I can do.

[00:57:42] And then it's going to be openly looked at rather than just put under the carpet. And that means all the members of this group need to have the capacity to do that and know how do I also communicate in a way that others can take it, right? It's not pointing. The finger is every individual in co-creation needs to take responsibility for their own experience in a situation.

[00:58:06] And from that experience, communicating. Also noticing that, of course we are sometimes triggered, but that's all on stuff that has nothing to do with the group or the team or anyone else. That's our stuff. So always start with us. That's why self-leadership is so important in group settings, because I need to be able to lead myself and take full responsibility for my own journey in order to then hold a safe space for everyone else.

[00:58:31] Because if I'm starting thinking that pointing in the moment then it's not working. So that's like the huge, big picture of it. And so concretely how we work with companies, first, we start giving them introductions to mindfulness like Search Inside Yourself, which is still an amazing introduction to these topics.

[00:58:47] I love it. I still love teaching this course. And then when teams say they want to go deeper, we go into a six month journey actually with those teams. And for six months, we meet every month and go deeper into different topics. So we deepen the self-leadership pot because such insight itself is only like an intro, but self-leadership is more than that.

[00:59:09] And then we go into relationship. Really understanding themselves within relationship. We go into co-creation and co-creative tools, but then also we go into organizational tools that help them to be more co-creative having a more co-creative meeting structure, very simple thing, but very practically usable, because that already changes the way meetings work in an organization.

[00:59:32] Yeah. And obviously we don't have all the answers yet. That's also one of the things With all humbleness. And we have to say this new paradigm shift is something, no one knows how it's going to be. No one has the answers. So although we have some solutions and some ideas and some experiences with it, there's a huge openness towards really learning together with everyone involved, how this is going to look like in the future and how we're all gonna embody it.

[01:00:03] I feel like we are all on this journey together to figure that out. And that's one of the huge new paradigms, which is no one is going to have that solution. The solution that we need is one that we co-create as the whole society. And that is going to be the sum of everything we put together on there.

[01:00:22] Adam Coelho: Yeah, I totally agree. And as someone who wants to bring about more of this I find that, in the work environment, I can only speak to Google cause I've only worked at Google. I feel like everyone is just sprinting so fast to try to keep up that, it's not clear to me how me wanting to create a more, co-creative co-leading type of situation even within my small team, we're all just doing our own thing. It's not clear to me how to take those steps to say, Hey let's change the way we work together. Let's be a little bit more collaborative. There's just so many things happening all the time, and this is not unique to my team or to Google or the business.

[01:01:07] If you're a teacher you're having a very challenging and chaotic situation even before the pandemic. And so given that situation that a lot of work-life is it's do more with less people. How do you create that like wedge point where you can just start to bring more of this into your teams?

[01:01:26] Mounira Latrache: Yeah. Well many teams thing. We don't have time for it. And it's obviously it's always the felt time. We always feel, we don't have time for more because our lives are full. And the question is how important it is. And then when we answer that question, we know it's actually very important.

[01:01:44] So then the question is, okay, can I put an hour every week into this topic? Because it's important an hour a week is actually not a lot. But it can be very effective. If you start with one hour a week, putting that topic into the team, it already makes a difference. So if you do an hour a day, it would be even more effective or half an hour a day.

[01:02:06] So what I'm saying is, if something is important for us, we can't just spend half a day every year into it and then say, this is really important. And then we never do it again. So it needs to be part of our daily life, same thing with morning routines and stuff. We don't just do it once a year. We know we need to do it every morning or the meditation or whatever.

[01:02:28] The gym practice. We need to do it on a regular basis to grow the muscle. And that's the same thing in the team. So there needs to be a few enthusiasts. And ideally it's not just the team leader who is an enthusiast, but there's a few people within the organization or in the team that say, we want that too.

[01:02:45] It needs to be two or three people who really have this commitment to keep this going. And then just making, it's ritual in every meeting. It doesn't have to always be like this huge two-day training thing, it can just be every meeting starts 10 minutes of each meeting will be dedicated to connecting as a team in a co-creative way, which means like one easy tool for co-creation is to do a check-in with everyone that already brings everyone in differently.

[01:03:15] And so just bringing in those tools and those ways of being as a team into whatever we do, or one of the things that I did with my team when I was still at Google is I used the one-on-one, for exploring their purpose and their strengths and what they're passionate about. I didn't use it for any practical stuff.

[01:03:34] I just said, in one-on-one time. We don't talk about you did this and I didn't do that. We just not doing it. This is your one hour of growing. 

[01:03:43] Adam Coelho: And so in our work one-on-one we are talking about everything except work. 

[01:03:47] Mounira Latrache: Practically. But in reality, I could see everyone was thriving, more, being more empowered, being more connected with the work that they were doing.

[01:03:56] The team was connecting better with each other. So at the beginning, you think, there's no results, but long-term this team, although it's smaller. There weren't many other teams that were bigger than us and having more budgets, but we were so effective when people were like, why are you doing like, I can't believe how much you manage.

[01:04:12] And it was because we were so aligned, that was such a big trust between each other. And we were all empowered in our own ways. So we were faster because we were more a unity. And so that's the interesting thing. Long-term I think it's even bringing you better results and more effectiveness, but the end goal in mind for me as a leader is always.

[01:04:36] How do we interact with each other? And how do we create something where the energy goes up together rather than just achieving this one goal, which is, we all know this, you know, this quarter review, you have one quarter, everyone is rushing towards that quote, and then it's quite, it's over. No one talks about it anymore.

[01:04:53] You're like never again. Exactly. And you're like, I've worked my ass off for this quarter and no one is interested anymore in it. 

[01:05:00] Adam Coelho: What are we excited about? What are we working towards? How is this aligning with your purpose?

[01:05:05] I see. Absolutely.

[01:05:06] Mounira Latrache: And you get caught up in it, obviously, I got caught up in it all the time, but then you keep drawing yourself back and say, wait a second. What's really important here. And then you don't even have a fight about one little detail because, wait a second.

[01:05:19] What's really important here. The bigger picture is important. Like so one time, for example I allowed someone who wasn't that good in a certain role to actually take that role, because I knew for the growth of this person, it was important to do it. Even if you failed, and then you do it and he didn't do it that well, but he learned so much from that that was more important than having this perfect heading.

[01:05:44] We were all standing there and cheering him up and he was doing it. So, So in some people's eyes, maybe, but in our eyes, he was going through a huge hurdle of public speaking, which he didn't do before. And he was so afraid of it and he did it and we loved it and we celebrate it as a team.

[01:06:03] And that's what we did. For example, with each other, whenever anyone had a hurdle, they could just speak about. Openly and honestly, and we would cheer each other up towards overcoming it. So at one point I even noticed, wow, everyone is so honest with what they are not good in what they're struggling with.

[01:06:22] I was so amazed by it, but it just came throughout us just being so open and honest with these things. 

[01:06:28] Adam Coelho: Yeah. That's amazing, the more we talk about this, the more I see how needed this is and how much of a competitive advantage it can be. And just the more I want to bring it into my work life.

[01:06:41] Because I have a great team. I have a great boss. I work with great people, but it feels like we're treading water. So often, you're not only treading water, treading water with eight foot waves crashing on our heads, and you were at Google for a number of years, so you know how it is, but it's that way everywhere.

[01:06:57] Mounira Latrache: And there's something also about, so what do we do this for right. If we go again in this bigger picture, wait a second. So one day we're just going to fall down and die. Is that what we're living for? Or can we, wherever we are, even if there's busy times and we have to achieve certain goals, can we have joy with it and live our life fully?

[01:07:17] One of my clients said, I'm noticing that I'm not feeling so alive in my day-to-day work. And he said maybe when I quit, I can find me feel alive. And I said to him, you need to feel alive wherever you are and whatever you're doing. It doesn't matter which job. If you're waiting for this one thing in order to feel alive, it's not going to happen.

[01:07:38] So the question is, even if we have this, can still be connected, have fun and have the best time ever with those people where with every day, because that's our life. It's nothing else than our life and this whole work-life balance stuff already. The word is wrong because work is our life.

[01:07:56] And actually most of us spend most of the time in our life in work. So we might as well have a good time for your connected love what we're doing. We don't have to love the task all the time, but we can love the, how we do it. We can love the people we're doing it with. We can cheer each other up while we're together.

[01:08:16] And that makes a huge difference because after that, quarter's gone OKR has gone after a year. You're not going to look at all the OKRs you've achieved. You're going to remember those moments that touched you. Like this moment when we like hug the tree, we both still love that moment.

[01:08:35] It was one of our favorite moments of this teacher training. 

[01:08:38] Adam Coelho: That's true. And it had nothing to do with what was actually being taught. Not, specifically, but now that's very true. 

[01:08:45] Let's shift gears now into what I call the mindful fire final four. 

[01:08:49] The first question is, you mentioned earlier that you have a mentorship program and you have a new cohort of people coming up.

[01:08:57] Can you share a little bit about that mentorship? 

[01:09:00] Mounira Latrache: Yeah, sure. As I said before, it came out of this journey of myself not knowing who I was and how to approach my own purpose and my own path and how to find those steps to really go that path. And this mentorship is actually is a group setting.

[01:09:15] It's a group mentorship where this group goes through a journey for six months meeting on a regular base and then exploring the purpose and the journey, their own conditioning, their shadows together as a group. And it's really amazing to see how this is not only a personal journey, but then we figure out how much we learned from other people's journey and how much we learn when other people go through their own exploration and what their hearts are, how much that fills us up with our own journey and how much it helps us understand.

[01:09:50] And I always felt like for me personally, In a group. I could really dive much deeper into who I was then just on my own. So this mentorship program is for everyone who wants to gone to this authentic self leadership journey. 

[01:10:04] Adam Coelho: Amazing. And if people want to apply for that or participate or learn more, how do they do that?

[01:10:11] Mounira Latrache: They can go to our website, so connected minus b.com and yeah, on the website, they will find it or contact me if they want to. Come on the list. I'm excited. I feel like right now, it's also a time when more and more people really want to dive into this. And I think it's actually important in.

[01:10:29] Ever changing and less, as we mentioned before, in this less controlled times it's important that we have an inner guides. And I think those times that are coming towards us the month that we have this like red line inside of us, that gives us the strength to keep going. 

[01:10:47] Adam Coelho: Absolutely. The second question is what piece of advice would you give to someone early on their path to financial independence?

[01:10:55] Mounira Latrache: Don't just do it for the finances. Really find something that you're also passionate about doing and that makes you shine and your heart shine, because otherwise you might not have the resilience to keep going. Because even if we have financial independence, it might not always right away work.

[01:11:16] And then if we don't like what we're doing, it's going to be really hot. And in the end, the money doesn't count what counts is, how we feel and the life that we have built.

[01:11:26] Adam Coelho: Well said. And to your earlier point, look at what you're already doing, look at what you love to do and what brings you alive and see if that might be something that energizes you to keep going on the journey. 

[01:11:39] The third question is what piece of advice would you give to someone just getting started with meditation and or mindfulness?

[01:11:46] Mounira Latrache: I would say. It's really hard to find your own regular practice at the beginning, especially. And so what helped me a lot was going on retreats. Like using my vacations to go on retreats two weeks, four weeks, really like diving deeper into it. And yeah, I think apps help a lot of people at the beginning too.

[01:12:08] But for me, it was really retreats where I was forced to do the practice because my own discipline wouldn't just allow it at the beginning. And those being with a teacher helps as well. So maybe find one teacher that you trust and really like, and keep sticking with them for a while and just go to their sessions and ask them questions.

[01:12:27] And instead of going from one thing to the other, commit to something for a while, and that's also going to help getting more depth in it. 

[01:12:36] Adam Coelho: Yeah, absolutely. And what about. For people who may have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, I'll speak for myself. We have these weekly retreats in Google now that Nicole Lisanti who was in my cohort, she started and I was leading one earlier and I was feeling, I've been feeling just like bad about not meditating as much as I should.

[01:12:58] And I'm noticing the effects and just really have fallen out of a regular practice for whatever reason. And I'm trying to get back to it. So what advice would you have for someone who's trying to get back to their regular practice? 

[01:13:09] Mounira Latrache: I really, if I don't find my own self discipline, which also happens for me, it's really, I go on a retreat with someone and then I have to do it every day.

[01:13:18] And then, it's easier for me when I come back home to actually do it. So I'm actually doing retreats twice a year. It can be yoga or meditation for me. And that gives me again and again, the depth to go back to it. So falling off the wagon for back and also knowing every day is a new beginning.

[01:13:37] So if you didn't do it yesterday, just do it tomorrow. This like part of falling off the wagon is this huge mountain that we built off judgment and of I can't do it. And so one thing that really helps me is to say instead of, oh, I need to meditate like this and this. If I fall off the wagon, I say, okay, that's make a commitment every day.

[01:13:55] I sit on this chair for one minute and do something. And then through that, like this in a blockage goes away because I'm just doing it without expectation. Just one minute. And then over time, this one minute becomes five and then 10 and then one hour again, which is just like something. Like in the head, it looks so big.

[01:14:15] That's why we often can go back to that wagon, I would say. 

[01:14:18] Adam Coelho: Yeah, absolutely. So just start again. That's in the practice and about the practice is important. 

[01:14:25] Mounira Latrache: Yeah. Absolute. And it's for me, the easiest thing is when I wake up in the morning to right away do it, like I also. I don't even go to a certain place, but I do it in the bed. I sit up and meditate because that way I don't think I don't open my phone.

[01:14:41] I don't do anything. I'm just like right away.

[01:14:43] Adam Coelho: 

[01:14:43] There's nothing in the way. There's nothing that needs to happen. 

[01:14:46] Mounira Latrache: Yeah, exactly. It's the easiest way to do it. So to really say concrete time and you do it in that time, you don't make variations or say one day I do it. This, I didn't have time, but just do it before you can do anything else.

[01:14:58] Adam Coelho: And the last question is how can people connect with you and connected business and everything that you're working. 

[01:15:06] Mounira Latrache: So on the one hand, just joining one of our trainings and courses right now we're doing online more than we used to. So we have online search and set yourself trainings and online self leadership training or the mentorship.

[01:15:20] And other than that, follow us on Instagram or Facebook, or I also have a podcast I'm not doing it so regularly. It's part of my decision of just like really doing it whenever it feels. Right. And that's why it's not that regularly. Or if you want to bring it to your company and your teams then just reach out to us directly because that's obviously a bit more complicated and detailed, and then we talk you through, but also that's that needs a different conversation to really understand what.

[01:15:51] Adam Coelho: Mary Good. And the website is connected-b.com. I will put that in your links to your Instagram and Facebook and all of that in the show notes for this podcast. Mounira this has been even better than I had hoped. I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing your practical wisdom with everybody here and in certainly with myself as well.

[01:16:16] I'm going to take a lot away from this. So thank you. 

[01:16:18] Mounira Latrache: Thank you so much at him. It's been such a nice conversation and I love talking with you about all those things I always learn from, talking to someone about my own stuff. 

[01:16:28] Adam Coelho: Yeah. So the why absolutely. It was like you were saying with the mentorship program, there's so much to be gleaned from just talking things out and hearing how other people approach their problems.

[01:16:38] It's really powerful. Yeah. 

[01:16:40] Thanks so much for joining me on today's episode of the mindful fire podcast. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with my friend Mounira Latrache the founder of connected business.

[01:16:50] As a reminder, you can find the full show notes for today's episode, including any links, resources, or books discussed in the episode at Mindful fire.org/ 48.

[01:16:58] If you got value from today's episode, please hit subscribe wherever you're listening to this. This just helps the platforms know you're getting value from the episodes and you want to be here when I produce additional content.

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[01:17:18] Doing that will help the podcast, reach new people and would really mean the world to me. 

[01:17:22] Thank you so much for all your support and I'll catch you next time on The Mindful Fire Podcast. 

Mounira Latrache

Co-Founder of Connected Business

Mounira’s vision is that we will find a way to work with each other that includes the diversity and passion of the whole person, that aims to find solutions for the greater good as a community and is fun at the same time.

Mounira is very dedicated to move forward diversity - and for her it is much more than just having the same amount of females in a company. For her diversity means to create a culture where everyone accepts the uniqueness of the other, no matter if it’s gender, origin, a total different work style or energy level at certain times of the day. Along with this she wants to support people to find their own voice and passion.

She is also very passionate about transforming our business world and sees the transformational power in diversity, mindfulness & compassion - and that’s why in 2012 she has started giving courses and train people as a 20% project at Google and external companies.

As founder of Connected Business she is passionate about changing the way we do business and connecting a business community where we are all leading each other into empowerment , connecting with each other in an authentic way and serving the next 7 generations to come. Mounira is the author of "Connected Business - how I found the way to lead my self and others" published by Randomhouse -Ariston launched in April 2020, the German version is out, English version in the making.

Before launching Connected Business, Mounira was managing the YouTube Space Berlin, heading YouTube PR for Germany, Austria & Switzerland. During her 5 years at Google she dedicated 20% of her working time to spreading mindfulness at Google and externally. Mounira has 15+ years of management experience leading international brands, in previous years she lead brand communications and marketing initiatives for Red Bull and BMW. Mounira is also a trained business coach, yoga teacher and facilitates mindful leadership trainings across the world.