Meaning coach Maria Mazarakis in our new Book of Hours

, ,
Maria Mazarakis

After choosing inspiration as a theme for our new Book of Hours, we came into contact with Maria Mazarakis. Maria is a sociologist and meaning coach and has been organizing the Inspiration Stage in Arnhem for years. Here she lets people speak with whom she unravels the life story in advance. Since I was just writing a story for our Book of Hours, I decided to talk to Mary. Maybe I could learn something from her.

A story as a prison

On the way to Maria, I noticed that I was quite critical. Those life stories seemed like a prison to me; A mould in which you trapped your free, playing self in a plot. Life was more than a story, wasn’t it? And surely more than one story? I was not only Damien on my way to Maria for an introduction, but also Damien who was walking through a beautiful part of old Arnhem on a sun-drenched day. Damien looking at the trees. To the flowers in the gardens. He enjoyed an unexpected, brightly decorated swing in a narrow gap between two buildings. Yes, that free play, that being without a story: wasn’t that just real life…?

My critical self quickly calmed down when I stepped into Maria’s home: a warm, spontaneous woman in a home bursting with creativity and openings to new vistas. Art, lots of art, nature inside and also outside in her garden, lush and playful, not raked and yet cared for. Even on the toilet there were sayings that sparked my imagination: “What you are looking for, you are also looking for – Rumi.”

In our conversation, it turned out that Maria likes to work with life stories, not to imprison someone, but to free people. Mary: “Life stories provide insight and clarity and empower people. They will show you the way back home.By having people tell their life stories in a personal conversation, she tries to make someone’s often hidden life lessons visible and to test them against someone’s deepest values and desires. From that insight, new inspiration arises to tell a new, more personal story. A life story of which you are much more the writer yourself instead of being ‘written’ by the circumstances and the course of events.

I liked what Mary said. Later, I went to her for a life interview myself. It turned out to be three fascinating hours, during which Maria asked me with great attention about a number of key experiences in my life and the lessons I learned from them. She also held up a mirror to me: did I still stand by those lessons?

A Life Story on the Walk of Wisdom

Bench near Walk of Wisdom
In Hernen Castle, Walk of Wisdom

I often thought back to the conversation with Maria when I walked the Walk of Walk of Wisdom in June. Maria had photographed her notes for me; Every time I took a break and felt like it, I grabbed them. In the lee of time, away from all things to do, a new version of my life story matured. I have included some of it in our new book of hours On the Way to Wisdom. We will present the first chapter of this book on 3 September, in the form of an e-book (PDF).

In the meantime, Maria herself has also walked the Walk of Wisdom at our invitation. As a result of that trip, she co-wrote our book. We are now cautiously dreaming about an Inspiration Stage in one of the stops or guest addresses on our route. The life story is just a beautiful subject for a pilgrimage. And how nice it can be to exchange about that with other pilgrims in the safe setting of a staging post. Hopefully more soon.

More about the presentation of our new Book of Hours On the Way to Wisdom, chapter 1.

More about Maria Mazarakis

Check out her website or Facebook group ‘the power of your story’.