I was born in Romania 37 years ago during the harsh communist regime. I grew-up in a modest family in a small town. At 16 years old, I was chosen (from 800 girls) as one of the finalists of the national beauty contest: Miss Teen. Then, right after graduating high school I worked as a journalist for one of the most important local newspapers. At 19, I managed to leave the country to follow my dream of seeing the world’s wonders.
To my big surprise, that fantasy world turned out to be hostile, rough, and sometimes cold. I frequently felt like an alien but I worked hard to stay above the discrimination that I often experienced in my job as a model.
My path wasn’t easy at all, but I’ve never lost my free spirit. I kept the passion alive and kept focused on my dreams; and during the hardest moments I just surrendered and let myself be driven by the superior forces of life.
Life has blessed me with two amazing children whom I’m honored to bring up. In Spain, where I’ve been living for more than 12 years, I’ve studied dramatic art, Psychology, NLP, Prenatal Education, Counseling and now I’m getting a certificate as a Women’s Life Coach at the SWAT Institute. I currently work with low-income pregnant women through The Madrina Foundation.
You went from being a model to giving back to the community by working with low-income pregnant women who are mostly teenagers. What has been the most challenging part of that transition?
My experience of becoming a first time mother in a foreign country, the fact that I felt really lonely, away from my family and with little real support during such a vulnerable and important moment, made me connect with the suffering of all those mothers in the same situation. I’ve learned the hard way that when a woman becomes a mother, especially for the first time, she needs the total support of her own mother.
After my son’s birth I felt alone in this world, without my mother or “any” mother by my side. That made me experience postpartum anxiety and depression. But all that suffering led me to a deep personal and spiritual growth and that’s when I’ve actually decided to help other women.
What are some of the challenges that women face in the workforce in Spain?
Although it is not discussed much, one of the real barriers that women increasingly find in their work in Spain is motherhood. Bringing a baby into the world is bad news for a high number of employers around the country. Many pregnant women are victims of workplace harassment called mobbing. As the dismissal of a pregnant woman is against the law, the employers harass many of them in order to obtain their resignation.
The Madrina Foundation, with which I collaborate, brought out last year a study done in Spain on the maternal mobbing phenomenon (present actually in companies worldwide), a study that identifies pregnancy as the main cause for dismissal or harassment in Spanish companies.
What do you find the most satisfying part of your current work?
Accompanying another woman in her journey of becoming the best version of herself profoundly transforms myself every single time.
I fill my heart with joy when I see a “sister” blooming and when one just opens her new discovered wings and flies. It makes me happy to see them walk straight when they no longer need my support and they can follow their path with complete power and self-confidence.
I’m pleased to do what I love, to share my passion of creating a new vision, a new perspective of reality for others. I love giving women the hope and strength to create their own destiny and their own lives. It gives me total satisfaction to guide them towards becoming the women they dream to be.
What advice do you have for other women who have unusual (or challenging) career goals?
Special women have unusual career goals. So, be special! The fact that someone is not able to see what you see doesn’t mean that you’re “wrong”. Surround yourself with people who share the same passion and do not waste your precious energy and time justifying what you’re doing to those who don’t believe in you.
Be unusual! Be unique! Be brave and follow your dreams! If you don’t do it who will then? If not now, then when?
Give us an example of how you’re currently helping other women advance professionally or fulfill their career goals?
Although, for the moment, in my work I focus more on the personal aspect of a woman’s life, I can say that when I support young mothers their professional concerns are always coming into discussion. Women worry and care about their jobs and career sometimes more than anything else.
So I invite them to take the time of the pregnancy as an opportunity to redefine their life path, to embrace the moment as a welcomed brake for rediscovering their dreams and passions in order to become whom they decide to be. Pregnant or not, we should all take the time to conceive, nourish and birth our new life the way we choose to.
My goal as a future professional Life Coach is to become the facilitator for women to re-discover and free their Authentic Power, to be able to embody and cultivate their Feminine Essence in order to live a purposeful life according to their True Nature.
Could you mention one or more women who have helped you get to where you are now?
One is the wonderful Julie Gerland, founder and Director of The Holistic Parenting Program: Preconception to Birth & Beyond, international presenter, co-author, workshop leader and professional trainer. She is the Chief United Nations Representative of the World Organization for Prenatal Education Associations. I met Julie in California and I instantly fell in love with her from the moment I heard her talking at the APPAH (Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health) Congress in 2009. She is today for me a great friend and a trustful professional guide.
The other one is the amazing Crystal Andrus. She is not only my Life Coaching teacher at the SWAT Institute, but also my professional mentor and, after our group trip to Italy in September we became “soul sisters” as she calls us. Crystal is a worldwide leader in the field of self-discovery and personal transformation, best-selling author, motivational speaker, and a women’s advocate. She is the founder of the SWAT Institute (Simply Woman Accredited Trainer) —an online Personal Empowerment Coaching Certification Program designed for women to support and encourage other women to fully express their gifts, passion, and purpose.
Both Julie and Crystal inspire me. Through their teachings and magnificent example they’ve both catapulted me directly into my “Red Shoes” with which I am standing powerfully and confidently, exploring my talents and abilities, walking towards my constant progress as a woman.