I realised I had no clue of what to expect from Insight Seminars as I reached the Victorian facade of the Columbia hotel on a gloomy Friday morning. (I was even ready to turn around when I found out that there was no coffee provided!)

Insight Seminar I aims at raising our awareness around our own feelings, perceptions and patterns. It teaches us methods to tune in with our instincts and core values. I learned to define my intentions and listen to my emotions in order to act consciously in any given situation. Our cheerful facilitators invited us to approach life with a more energetic, audacious and resolute outlook. Their suggestions, tips and encouragements were applicable in many aspects of my life.

My career will undoubtedly benefit from the incentives to participate and keep moving while listening to feedback. The powerful statement “step up: the desired outcome is only an extra bonus, a negative outcome is a learning opportunity” inspired me to try new routes and gave me the boost I needed to pursue the quest of a fulfilling, rewarding career.

The seminar also shed a new light on the workings of loving relationships and I urge myself to always choose love over ego even when I don’t feel like it because I can truly see the loving feeling appearing when I choose the loving action. I was astonished to learn that guilt and resentment stem from an imbalance between my self-image or expectations of others and the reality. Having realised that, I make a point of being more compassionate toward myself and toward others.

At a personal level, it was soothing to reconnect with my inner self and lifelong aspirations, as caring for a little one often leads me to put my needs in the second place.

To this date, I believe the most significant challenge for me was to accept and experience emotions that always seemed too big to handle or too hurtful to feel. I always shunned conflicts, and would typically detach myself from any upsetting situation or push away difficult relationships. Now I realise all emotions are valid and I try my best to stand bravely and openly in the face of emotional turmoil.

I am taking away a lot of wisdom and tools from the seminar to lead an outstanding life, but it’s worth noting I have been deeply touched by the moving stories of the other participants: understanding that beyond our differences we are ONE is a humanistic experience I will cherish forever.


Severine Etienne is a career-changer and a writer whose primary focus is on lifestyle and parenting. She believes we are masters of our own destiny and is applying this motto as much as possible in her everyday life. She lives in London with her partner and her young daughter.


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