Why I... meditate
"They say you should never meet your heroes, but in my case, I didn’t get a choice, as mine was my grandfather."
I’m originally from Brazil. I know that sounds quite exotic, but I’m from the Brazilian Midwest, so trust me when I say: it was more City Slickers than Girl from Ipanema. Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my family’s farm, which was great fun. We mainly bred horses and raised cattle. I even helped set up an apiary.
It was inspiring to go to the farm, because I spent a lot of time with my grandfather when I was there. They say you should never meet your heroes, but in my case I didn’t get a choice, because mine was my grandfather. He was a great role model. Physically and mentally he was everything I wanted to be. He just seemed fearless. Even our birthdays are on the same day.
My grandfather was passionate about his life, his family and his career. Listening to his stories taught me some valuable lessons, which positively influenced my formative years. From an early age, that got me thinking that one day I would like to do something that I was passionate about too.
2008 was the last year I saw my grandfather. That year, I went back to Brazil to spend Christmas and New Year with my family. I saw that this formidable man, my hero, had been battling a motor neurone disease. This cruel illness had slowly and painfully ebbed away his physical faculties. Over a period of two years, it robbed him of his ability to walk, his ability to talk and eventually robbed him of his life.
But it couldn’t rob him of his dignity and independence. Thankfully, my grandfather had the financial stability to get the healthcare support he required to continue living in his own home. His retirement funds also allowed him to leave a meaningful legacy to my grandmother, who is now 92 years old. This meant that she could maintain her dignity and independence too, without having to depend on anyone to support the lifestyle they had worked so hard to achieve.
Many of us have faced powerful milestone experiences that irrevocably change the trajectory of our lives. In my case, the passing of my grandfather was a life-altering loss and a turning point. Witnessing what he endured in his final days led me on a spiritual journey that eventually changed the way I approached my career.
It prompted me to revisit my life goals, inspiring me to study at the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. That’s where I learned the art of meditation. This field of study changed the way I did my job. I was no longer content with simply selling financial products; I began to channel the practices I learned from purposefully being silent into carefully listening to my clients, helping them to pursue their most profound goals.
Great communication starts with great listening. And great listening starts with inner listening. Meditation helps me on many levels, from simple relaxation to a sense of being present in the moment. I have expanded the sense of who I am, beyond my simple fears and self-judgment. I have discovered inner resources that help me in my personal and professional life.
The death of my grandfather sparked an epiphany. By being present and using the right tools, we give people more than just a financial plan. We deliver security, fulfillment, dignity and independence, and there’s no other profession that can do this.