#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 08 – Emotional Intelligence


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


 

Meet Omozua Ameze Isiramen

– Emotional Mastery & Neuro Leadership Coach (Luxembourg) –

Emotions. They drive our every move, right?

They tell us to go left, when everyone goes right. They tell us to cry, to laugh, to dive into despair or to swim towards fair waters. They are thought of not being controllable.

But can anyone prove this wrong? Can anyone actually joggle with emotions and not feel guilty (! Emotion !) about it?

Well, if by now you believed that this was just a fairy tale, let me introduce you to my skilled guest: a woman with so much power at hand! Yet the most adorable giggly lady!

Ms. Omozua Ameze Isiramen is an Emotional Mastery & Neuro Leadership coach and one of the most enjoyable connections I had the pleasure to talk to, outside of LinkedIn. Make sure you read her answers below and get ready to reconsider everything you’ve ever thought about emotions.

***

1. Hi, Omozua. I am honored that you accepted this challenge, with such short notice. Please let the readers know the human behind the professional. Tell us a bit about yourself, please.

This is a question that astounds – or, should I say – surprises me a lot. Each time I answer it, I discover something new about myself. I would say I am an ever-expanding human puzzle. Along the way I may have lost some of my pieces, but I never look to replace them up again – they are good, filled or not. I love bringing people together by simply being me. I am a big fan of sushi classes, orchids, and sport DVDs. My favorite word is ponder. I like to dance myself out of unresourceful moods and this helps most of the time. For this I use the Pata Pata song, by Miriam Makeba.

When I can`t shake glum moments off, I simply celebrate the emotions, thoughts and feelings I am going through.

Above everything…

“The elevation of humans through poetry lies at the core of everything I do.”

I love to speak in colors and pictures, and the biggest gift I find lies in journaling, as far as I am concerned; which explains why I have all my journals from when I was 19-years old.

The film “The Truman Show“, with Jim Carrey, is the one that gave me my much loved phrase and directs how I see things in life: “See Beyond the Obvious”.Many would not agree but I would qualify myself shy or – as Karen Grosz would say – “an introverted extrovert”.

2. I know that you lived in several countries (Nigeria, UK, Spain, Germany and, now, Luxembourg) and that you speak all these languages, without barrier. What was the impact of all these diversity-wise experiences over your life? 

What comes to my mind, without a doubt, is that it has made me an appreciative person. I have learned the importance of speaking up and being true to myself. I come from a large, extended family and have interacted with people from so many cultures and backgrounds, both personally and professionally. I have learned what it means to do, act and be human in its very pure sense.

My late mum had the habit of bringing home a child of one of the nomad families she came across, to send the child to school for a year; so I had a number of sisters from another mother, several times. She treated us all the same, so – as a child and young teenager that would determine who was valued or not – I never thought there were differences about people. I apply the same principle in my current every day life; because I truly believe you never know where the lessons of life can come from and lessons can come handy at the most unexpected moments.

3. Is there any downside for the happenings driving all these changes? 

Everything in life provides you with something to learn or gain from.  If there were any downsides, then I would have simply let the down-pulling effect go, after it served its purpose. We moved a lot when I was young, and I made friends, lost them and made new ones, along the way. This made me experience loss and loneliness, several times.

“Life happens and, when we run our brains, we react or respond.”

When I was younger, I fled into reading to cope with my feelings (which I had no idea of), as the amazing friends I encountered never disappeared or left. But later, I learned to deal with how I felt by journaling and talking about it. (The very thing my mother always wanted me to do.) The more I spoke about things in my life to close ones, the easier it was for me to address them without feeling I would lose myself.

4. How did you manage to overcome the obstacles, each and every single time?

My parents brought my siblings and I up to understand that the outcomes and consequences we experienced were our responsibility and of our own doing. Whatever you painted blue, was blue and whatever you painted red, was red.

I go with the flow.

Head high and confidently! I know this sounds easy, but it takes daily practice and trusting the process in every situation.

5. What kept you going?

The lesson my grandmother taught me: “Life only stops when you breathe your last breath“.

In addition, I learned from people who experienced extremely life-altering experiences and they never gave up. It is all about understanding that, no matter what happens, it is up to you to ponder about the labels you give to things. How you label things is how you experience them in life. Life happens and, when we run our brains, we react or respond.

“The idea here is identify, define, redefine, undefine and move on.”

The power of choice is underestimated, but – whether a person decides to move on or stay stuck – is a choice. I spend a lot of time exploring this in my life. Another important thing I had to learn, the hard way, was asking for help and reaching out, to achieve things I couldn’t do alone.

The magic of going on and moving with the flow starts here.

6. How would you, from both personal and professional perspectives, define emotions?

Emotions are biologically somatic responses of our neurology, neither good or bad; just evaluations of the sensations you initially feel. They are guesses or predictions which the brain creates and are based on stored data from past experiences.

Emotions are part of our every day; they come and go, never last long and can be intense, resourceful or unresourceful. They do not happen to us, rather we make them.

The brain is construed to understand what the body feels at any given time and to help us know what to do next. It reacts only to perceived danger, threat or vulnerability. This can easily become an issue when we trust what we interpret and feel, without ever checking the possibility and probability of what we are reacting to.

The good news is that we are not at the mercy of our emotions – we have more control than we are sometimes aware of!

em>We can do more than just one of the “3 Fs” (FREEZE, FIGHT OR FLEE): we can navigate them and live a productive, fulfilled life.

7. Were emotions always your vocation? Or did you have other professions in mind, before choosing this path?

Not at all! I only started realizing how the way we behave and communicate stems are influenced by unchecked emotions in my late 20s.

As a teenager, I remember how my mother would always ask questions to understand what was bugging me – she wanted me to talk, express my feelings. I simply did not know how or what she wanted. Now I understand more about the brain (neuroscience), seeing emotions as messages or tools to be used to change or become aware of. I see there was absolutely nothing wrong with me back then and I would certainly have understood what it was she wanted better with the knowledge I now have, as an emotional mastery and neuroleadership coach.

“The good news is that we are not at the mercy of our emotions. We can do more than we believe ourselves capable of: we can navigate them and live a fulfilled life.”

I am afraid of blood, so becoming a doctor or nurse did not cut it for me. I do not like numbers or anything complicated and becoming a psychologist seemed to require quantitative studies; so I dropped that idea too.

But I was always good at motivating and inspiring people when they felt down. Through my personal experience and interaction with adults, I noticed the struggle one had in life situations and in interacting with others. I became curious, pondered… and this made me want to explore the underlying structures that led to human struggle. Little did I know that my path would be determined by this interest that started as mere curiosity.

8. How did you get to eventually choose coaching?

I used to teach the former president of ICF Luxembourg. In one of the sessions said that I would make a good coach. That was early 2008 and the rest is history.

I found my calling and even if the journey has not been an easy one, I certainly do not regret embarking on it.

9. People are slippery, even without realizing it. What was the worst experience and how did you deal with it?

I would not label the experience in any way! Simply because I do not like limiting my experience of people or things that happen. I’d rather say I had a number of situations or encounters that taught me a lot. It took me a while to get over my hurt, disappointment, anger and frustration, but I did and moved on.

Surely, I am more cautious today – as I approach any kind of relationship – but the one thing I never allowed to happen was for it to tarnish the trust I have in humans, life; I rather go for the “love rules, changes and heals” principle. There is always something to learn or gain.

10. During our call, which was delightful (we need to do that again, soon!), we touched a wide range of subjects, including parenthood (of course, my kids introduced themselves ). I’m sure you’ve dealt with similar questions before, but what was the most interesting one, in this extent?

This was an interesting discussion, as I have grown up feeling misunderstood as a teenager. I think that, when we addressed parenthood in our talk and how we can help our young ones to understand themselves and communicate better, I was fully lightened up. Children do not know how to express what they feel all the time, thus this is where neuroscience and the study of the brain comes in. This is something I love to work on with my adult clients who want to improve the way they relate to their children and other people.

“I always ask myself: What is the worst thing that can happen if I try?”

The second thing I liked about our discussion was the story of the chicken farm, that I told you:

“At the farm, they had an old pendulum clock that had never worked, as far as they knew. The chicken sat on it all the time. And then, one day, an amazing thing happened: the clock started to work. All the chicken, except for one, went down the clock; this one remained on the pendulum as it slowly swayed from one end to the other. At first, it was afraid; but then, it opened its eyes and saw beyond the fence. The sight was beautiful on both sides; so it jumped and sat on the fence. The other chicken called for it to stop and remain within the walls of the chicken farm. But our hero chicken had seen what the others didn’t and it could not stop the excitement and curiosity. It jumped down to the other side and simply said: “I can always come back if I feel like what I am walking towards is not good for me.”

This is how I go through life. I always ask myself: “What is the worst thing that can happen if I try?”.

11. What is your view of a world outside the box?

I mentioned earlier that my mother exposed us to different people, with different backgrounds. She had a hairdressing salon and I remember hearing the stories women talked about – of how they were trying to fit in and the struggle that brought with it.

In my late twenties, I wanted to belong to one of the boxes on the checklist I had created; but it was not till I fell sick that I realized how miserable this was making me in – and out. It was there and then when I decided to simply take each day as it came and to get used to being okay with myself. This is when I forgot my list and chose not to let it define the way I experienced life. Just like in our talk, once you know what you know, you have to decide what’s next and be ready for the consequences. Being in or out of the box is a choice each person must make.

12. Can an unconventional way of thinking be taught? Or does it come with personal experience?

To this I can only say that it is not about what one can teach or learn. It is about how one implements the knowledge one has, as one operates life. Many things contribute to how one thinks, what one believes, how one relates with others and so much more. Power questions come handy here. I am not a believer in being rebellious just for the sake of it or because it is trendy.

“Being in or out of the box is a choice each person must make.”

Ask questions that bring clarity:

  • What do you want and choose to do?
  • How does it align with your beliefs, values and motivation to see through?

Your answers determine what way of being and thinking you employ. Everything starts within, as far as I am concerned!

13. How do you see the relationship between emotions and free will (personal choice)? Are they complementary?

As I explained before, emotions are not permanent and are constructions of the brain; or – as I like to refer to my amygdala/brain – my inner mind Chihuahua. Exercising the power to choose starts with understanding your inner patterns, triggers… the brain…What happens? When? And why? (as seen from a neuroscience point of view) And How to optimize its use for peak performance, productivity and living a life were you are the CEO of your brain and not run by your brain.

14. If you were to speak from a locked tower and requested to send your utmost precious message to the world, while struggling to find a way out of there, what would that message be?

Well, what a given picture…! I am afraid of heights!

” I say: Breathe and BE!”

No matter the situation you find yourself in… Cry, shout and feel sorry for yourself… but do not forget that you are human. As long as you are alive, there is always a way out! Solutions come when one is calm and looks at the issue at hand through the eyes of many.

That is where insights come from; and, when you can put yourself in the shoes of others you, are in a better space to access possible options and decide how best to proceed.

I would like to conclude with what my grandmother and mother would say:“Whatever happens, try, try, and try again and close your story with your head high, confident and you do not give up to the end.”

 I say: Breathe and BE!

***

Amazing insights, Omozua! I appreciate the chance I got for receiving valuable information from an amazing woman, such as yourself! Thank you for this and may emotions never be your foe! 🙂

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may become object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Omozua Ameze Isiramen*

Omozua Ameze Isiramen can be reached through the below channels:

Website:     https://www.omozua.com/

LinkedIn:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/omozuaisiramen/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/omo.isiramen

Next week (24.05.2018)Quentin Allums

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