Interview by Jo Macdonald
Have you ever met someone and within seconds felt you could chat with them for hours over a drink or two, swapping anecdotes and diving into the things that light you up?
Murielle Marie is that kind of woman. A fellow multi-passionate and animal lover, her fun and easy confidence, natural warmth and obvious intelligence immediately makes you feel you want to hang out with her. On her website she says her 'mission is to help ambitious women turn their creative ideas into inspired action' and within minutes it's clear that Murielle is all about supporting other women, 'I really love getting to know new women, I think we get stronger everytime we have a new woman enter our life'.
A philosophy student who entered the corporate world and quickly progressed to a very high level, it wasn't until the death of her parents just 5 weeks apart, and only a few weeks after she got married, that Murielle began to question what she really wanted from her life. 'I fell into the deepest, deepest darkness I had ever experienced, and not so much because I had a fantastic relationship with my parents because I didn't, but all of a sudden I realised that everything I had done up until that day had been a quest for love, to be seen, to be heard, to be good enough, and that's when all these puzzle pieces fell into place for me - that I'd always been a perfectionist, a people pleaser, that I lacked self love, that I lacked self confidence - I really didn't know who I was. The next year was a very dark year, nothing made sense to me anymore, it was really very hard. When I came out of that darkness I thought 'So, what now? If I was doing things for them and they're gone now then what am I going to do?' I started to think about what I wanted to do with my life, what I stood for, who I was, what my values were, how I wanted to make a difference. The things I came back to were the things I had enjoyed when I was about 10 years old and the things I am doing now, today, are really the vision I had for myself as a child. '
A couple of years later, at the age of 40, Murielle left the corporate world behind and retrained as a Life Coach with the Beautiful You Coaching Academy opening up a world of new possibilities for her both personally and professionally. Having been nominated recently for a coaching award it's clear she's found her area of expertise. 'I just couldn't do the corporate thing anymore. I was thinking about what I really wanted to do and I knew I wanted to teach, write, speak, I wanted to help. The thing that popped out for me was 'I have to be a coach'. The loss of my parents has impacted how I coach because when my parents passed away I realised how much we live based on our beliefs, and that we really shape ourselves in correlation with the people around us and the interactions we have with them. Most of the work I do is around beliefs and helping women remove blocks that stop them doing what they want to do, and so often these blocks and beliefs come from our parents, and of course our friends and family, but mostly our parents. It can just take one comment from one person and we can carry that for ages.' Whilst there are, of course, many great coaches out there under forty Murielle highlights the value of working with someone older with more life experience 'there are some things that can't be learnt and understood unless you go through them and unless you have the years behind you, so older coaches have something very special to offer.'
Her latest triumph is the TedTalk which she gave in Sofia this year and which was a big learning experience. 'It was a huge journey...I met myself differently and learned a lot about myself in the preparing. I'm all about getting out of your comfort zone and really have that belief that fear is just something that's always going to be there but you have to learn to move through it and do things anyway, and now I've done the TedTalk I'm like bring it on! In fact, after the talk I asked myself 'what else is there now?', everything felt so trivial because this had been so huge, but I've found something new now and it's very exciting.'
Murielle already runs the successful Sisterhood Collective and hosts regular Sisterhood Retreats throughout Europe, but listening to the passion and excitement in her voice as she describes her new project it's clear that this will be another huge success and a beautiful experience for all who join. 'My big why comes from the fact that I strongly believe that women connecting and working together is going to change the face of the earth. This has become my reason for being almost, the reason that I do the things that I do. A big turning point in my life after my parents died and since turning forty is that I really learned the power of friendship and Sisterhood. So I want to create a platform that will allow that kind of connection between women...I'm a big fan of Sister Circles, when we can come together and let go of all that patriarchy has taught us about how to be around eachother, how to talk about ourselves, and how to show up in the world. I want this platform to be accessible to all women...it's still a work in progress but it will be a very nurturing place for women. I'm very excited about it...Women are ready to do things differently now. I have great hope that before the end of my life we will see great change and just to have a tiny, little part in that to me is worth everything.'
And it's not just her new project she's excited about, being over 40 is proving to be another beautiful part of her life journey. 'I think when you're younger it's very difficult to trust yourself, especially when you're like 18 or 20, just out of adolescence and in those first years of being an adult (I'd love to go back to those years by the way but only if I could know what I know now, otherwise forget it), and for the first time you can decide what to do away from the pressure of trying to please your parents, and this is very hard for women in particular, and you just sort of muddle through for 10 or 20 years and then suddenly you're 40 and it's like 'Oh, I figured it out now!' This is by far the most peaceful, happy, calm period I've ever been in. I am enjoying every moment fully, I feel more confident, stronger, and better than I've ever felt before. And I think it comes with age. Of course I've done a lot of work to get here, but I think age plays a big part in how I feel now. I'm still very passionate, still in action, there's still a lot I want to do. But I also know the world better now, I know that things take time and that sometimes it's not going to be exactly what I want, and that's okay, it keeps me grounded. As you get older you learn how you work, how you operate and what you need to be happy, and it gets easier to choose those things over other stuff. Everyday I have new insights, new thoughts and I'm so interested in all the things that I'm still going to learn and understand, I've only just begun. I can do anything I want to do now plus I don't have to explain myself to anyone anymore, life after forty is really pretty great.'
Two practices that Murielle says have been a guiding force in her life, and that she does regularly, are journaling and meditation, ' they help you make the wall between you and the world fade away, and they help you get to know yourself better and to see things in the bigger cosmic ocean kind of way. We all make the same mistake of thinking we're individuals, that we have to do things alone, by ourselves, that we can decide the fate of the universe on our own, but it doesn't work that way, we need eachother. That wisdom only came to me late in life, before that I was driven by anxieties, what was lacking in my life, not feeling good enough. But when you step into a place of knowing you're good enough then all of a sudden everyone else if good enough too. It's really a beautiful thing.'
And the one piece of wisdom that she would like to share with us all? 'Shed all your fears, shed all your beliefs that are no longer serving you, accept that this is the one life, this one you have, this is it. So make the best of it. Love yourself more, you're the most beautiful vessel there is to do the work you need to do. If you can follow these guidelines, you'll be fine.'