INSPIRATION & EVENTS

There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

How is this poem going to help me?

The poem creates an analogy between life and a journey down a sidewalk. It is synonymous with self-awareness. It is about the choices we make in life. It is realizing we don’t need to go down that same street, meaning we don’t need to (repeatedly) engage in the same choices that create suffering for ourselves and others.

It encourages us to ask ourselves: How many times do I keep making choices that only lead me into “the same hole in the sidewalk” – the same situation?

Even if we are aware and not completely blind to the holes in our sidewalk, we still fall into them, often we shame ourselves or blame others without understanding (or admitting) that there was another street, another choice.

There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

Chapter One

I walk down the street.

           There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

                       I fall in.

                                 I am lost… I am helpless.

                                            It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two

I walk down the same street.

            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

                        I pretend I don’t see it.

                                  I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

            But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three

I walk down the same street.

           There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

                       I see it is there.

                                    I still fall in… it’s a habit.

                                              My eyes are open.

                                                          I know where I am.

It is my fault

I get out immediately.

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.

            There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

                        I walk around it.

Chapter Five

I walk down another street.

― Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

Portia Nelson (1920 – 2001) was a renaissance woman: author, singer, composer, lyricist, painter, photographer, and actress. Over the years she wrote the music and lyrics for many revues, television specials, and films. Portia authored the much-loved book “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery,” originally published in the 1970’s. There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk was made into a musical based on the book, and Portia directed, created the music and lyrics, and performed in the production at the York Theatre in Manhattan. This amazing poem has been praised by psychotherapists, metaphysicians, and legions of fans from every walk of life. It is used in numerous 12-step substance-abuse programs, and has been quoted in such diverse books as “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,” and the preface of “My Lives,” Roseanne’s best-selling autobiography. It also appears on a poster in Dr. Maguire’s office (Robin Williams) in the film Good Will Hunting (1997). John Gray, Ph.D., author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” says: “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk” explains in a simple and concise way, how life works. It is full of practical wisdom that will allow you to embrace and change your life.”

What is a great warning sign for ourselves that we have fallen into the same hole again?

When we hear ourselves repeatedly complaining about the same subject, about our partner, our boss, our colleague, the organisation etc., then a precious warning sign is presenting itself. It is a moment to embrace, to stop and to reflect:

What is really happening here? Have I acted from a place with little to no awareness of what I am/was doing? Am I so very upset because I have I missed a chance to stand-up for myself, to trust myself and my intuition, to speak up, to engage differently?

Am I doing the same things, the same way, over and over again to then realizing I am in the same trap as before, getting the same results? The same anger, the same frustration, the same self-shame, the same reactions?

Realizing that I have had the choice (this is the hardest to admit) but decided differently is the big next step (Chapter three).

Did I have an intuitive insight and still chose to ignore it? Once we have created that awareness and understood that we have decided to step into the same hole over and over again, we have discovered our pattern: Taking responsibility for our action. Now we can avoid it. We realize, that we have a choice.

To get started


Read the poem several times. Let it sink in. What does the hole in the sidewalk poem represent for you?



Ask yourself:

What streets do I keep walking down?

What deep holes do I keep falling into?

Where am I feeling lost … and helpless….and thinking it isn’t my fault?

Where am I pretending I don’t see….and not believing this could be happening….and yet it is happening again?

What habits are no longer serving me?

Answering these questions will create self-awareness.


Now I have the choice.


What am I now choosing to walk around?

What new streets am I choosing to walk down?


It is my choice:
I walk down another street.

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Manuela

Associate Partner

Artist, Photographer,  Co-Facilitator@ creative workshops

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Co-Facilitating creative workshops e.g. visualize corporate values and behaviours, vision boards, team norms etc.
  • Anyone can draw
  • Event photographer

EXPOSITIONS

  • 2000 Galerie Baliere, Frauenfeld
  • 2007 Alain Sauty et Charles Seydoux
  • 2008 Galerie d’A, Lausanne   
  • 2009 Guignard, Orbe
  • 2011 Galerie ESF-Espace
    Saint-François Lausanne
  • 2011 Evenement collectif 2, ESF-Espace Saint François Lausanne
  • 2015 Lietuvos Aido Galerija, Vilnius,Lithunania 
  • 2015 + 2019 Galerie Espace DēmArt, Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland (German, French, Italian, English)

Manuela

Associate Partner

Senior executive with 20 years of corporate experience; ICF- certified Integral Coach, Trainer & Facilitator; Organization, Leadership , and Learning expert

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Co-Facilitating creative workshops e.g. visualize corporate values and behaviours, vision boards, team norms etc.
  • Anyone can draw
  • Event photographer

EXPOSITIONS

  • 2000 Galerie Baliere, Frauenfeld
  • 2007 Alain Sauty et Charles Seydoux
  • 2008 Galerie d’A, Lausanne   
  • 2009 Guignard, Orbe
  • 2011 Galerie ESF-Espace
    Saint-François Lausanne
  • 2011 Evenement collectif 2, ESF-Espace Saint François Lausanne
  • 2015 Lietuvos Aido Galerija, Vilnius,Lithunania 
  • 2015 + 2019 Galerie Espace DēmArt, Lausanne

Artist, Photographer,  Co-Facilitator@ creative workshops

Lausanne, Switzerland (German, French, Italian, English)

Faye

Associate Partner

Certified Integral Coach, Talent Development,
Gender Equality in Business Expert, Culture Change Facilitator, Grief Counsellor

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  • Gender Equality Consulting
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  • 20+ Years working in and consulting to Corporations
  • Professional Certified Integral Coach
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  • 120+ Coaching hours
Expert on Gender Equality in Business

Lausanne, CH (German, English, conv. Mandarin)

Maria

Associate Partner

Certified Integral Coach, Strategy Development, Cultural Shifts,  Racism @ Work,

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Taught > 200 executives in 14 African countries how to use coaching as part of their leadership style

London, UK (English, French, German, Russian, Portuguese)

Beate

Founder of Punktschluss

Senior executive with 20 years of corporate experience; ICF- certified Integral Coach, Trainer & Facilitator; Organization, Leadership , and Learning expert

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  • Philip Morris Intl.
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  • Teufelberger, Austria
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Beate founded Punktschluss with two decades of corporate leadership and 10 years of Learning & Development expertise. Fusing her experience with her contagious energy, Beate has transformed and advanced several organizations and countless individuals around the world.

Lausanne, CH (German, English, conv. Mandarin)

Åsa Maria Granados

Associate Partner

Transformation and Leadership Coach, Digital Transformation Strategist

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  • 1 : 1 Coaching
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  • 15+ Years (leadership) experience (international organizations)
  • Fields: International Affairs, Public-Private Partnership, Global Security Affairs:
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  • Functions: External and Public Affairs, Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Protocol, Partnerships, Organizational Transformation
Åsa was raised in Kenya, where she developed a passion for African Wildlife. She is a Lion Conservation Volunteer.

Geneva, CH(English, Swedish, French)

Irina

Associated Executive Coach

Certified Integral Coach, NLP practitioner, Belbin team roles coach, Finance Transformation
 and Shared Services expert

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  • The Coca-Cola Company (Mentor, Facilitator & Executive Coach)
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  • JLL – Finance Transformation Lead,
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  • Zalando (Executive Leadership Coach)
  • Private coaching clients.
Ph.D. in Economics, 20+ years with The Coca-Cola Company in Europe, Americas and Asia, independent advisor to Fortune 500 companies in Finance Transformation and Leadership Development

Lausanne, CH (German, English, conv. Mandarin)

Mélanie

Associate Partner

Trainer – Facilitator – Coach – HR Business Partner

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Actively learning sign language, Mélanie’ s long-term goal is to coach hearing impaired people

 

Neuchatel, Switzerland (French, English, Spanish)

Gay

Associate Partner

Senior executive with 20 years of corporate experience; ICF- certified Integral Coach, Trainer & Facilitator; Organization, Leadership , and Learning expert

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  • Individual Coaching
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Originally from South Africa Psychology, B.A. | Economics, MSc.

Cham, Switzerland( English, German )

Olga

Associate Partner

Change Enthusiast, Communications Professional, Executive Coach

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  • 20+ Years Executive roles in multinational companies and organisations

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  • Soros Foundation
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  • XL Catlin (Currently AXA)
  • VEON
  • Pret A Mange
BA, Minsk State University, MA University Minnesota, MBA European-University, Viadrina

London, UK(English, Russian, Belarusian, conv. German & Polish)

Grace

Associate Partner

Senior executive with 20 years of corporate experience; ICF- certified Integral Coach, Trainer & Facilitator; Organization, Leadership , and Learning expert

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Belbin Team Role, Lumina,
    MBTI, DISC, Lominger
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  • 25 years’ HR executives roles
    at multinational companies
  • Lecturer and student mentor
    at Shanghai University for MBA
    programmes
  • First to launch “Drama in
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    Committee of Shanghai
    Psychological Society

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  • Frequent Speaker at
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  • Automobile / Manufactory: Inalfa, HARTING

Listed at “China’s 100 Human Resource Management people in 2020” by 第一资源 “Top HR” in China

Lausanne, CH (German, English, conv. Mandarin)

Wendy

Associate Partner

Senior executive with 20 years of corporate experience; ICF- certified Integral Coach, Trainer & Facilitator; Organization, Leadership , and Learning expert

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  • Executive Coaching
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  • Consumer Goods & Services
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20+ years in senior Leadership positions in Business Finance and HR across countries in Asia

Lausanne, CH (German, English, conv. Mandarin)

Michelle

Associate Partner

Educator – Facilitator – Certified Coach – Sustainable Food Systems Expert – TEDex Speaker

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  • Leadership Coaching
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  • Designed and implemented innovative training programs for >1500 participants from >60 countries

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  • Start-ups & Founders
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A certified yoga and meditation teacher (500+ h), interested in how creating the positive change we want to see in the world starts inside each of us.

 

Zürich, Switzerland(English)

Maria

Associate Partner

Trainer & Facilitator, Certified Integral Coach, Executive Presence & Communication

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  • Leadership Presence
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  • PwC Switzerland
  • IMD Business School
  • Nestlé
  • Banque Pictet
  • Caterpillar
  • Salesforce
  • ABB
  • O-I

Public Speaking, Executive Presence and Voice Coaching Expert

Lausanne, Switzerland(Swedish, English, French, Spanish)

Marta

Associate Partner

Executive Coach, Trainer & Facilitator, Career Assessment, Skills & Talents Dvlpmt.

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  • One-to-One & Team coaching
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  • Workshop animation
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  • Career assessment & Transition, Outplacement
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EXPERIENCE

  • 20+ Years Executive roles in multinational luxury companies
  • Labor Psychology degree
  • DISC certified trainer
  • 500+ Coaching & Consulting hours with 80+ clients
  • Coaching & Consulting in English, French and Italian
Business, B.A. | Labor Psychology B.A. , Milan 20years of Martial arts – Karate 3dan

 

Geneva, CH (Italian, French, English)

Lucy

Associate Partner

University Lecturer, Teacher Trainer and Facilitator

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Teacher trainer of English Didactics and Culture
  • University Lecturer and Tutor
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  • Group Coach for Analysis of Professional Practice
  • Foreign Languages Teacher

EXPERIENCE

  • Content creation and facilitation of BA and MA seminars
  • Supervisor of BA and MA students theses in English didactics
  • Observation, coaching and certification of trainee teachers
  • Seminar Facilitator
  • In-company business English education
Lived and worked in the UK, Germany, the USA, Switzerland and Indonesia, where Lucy studied cultural insights, travelling the archipelago and working as a guide in the National Museum in Jakarta through the Indonesian Heritage Society.

Lausanne, Switzerland (English, French, German)

Katarzyna

Associate Partner
Certified Coach, Mediator, Trainer & Facilitator

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Personal Development
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  • Career transition
  • Leadership training
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Group facilitation

AFORMER & NEW CLIENTS

  • MA Hotel & Tourism Management, University of Paris, Pantheon – Sorbonne
  • Project manager at Horwath HTL The Global Leader in Hotel, Tourism & Leisure Consulting
  • 600 hours of coaching : private clients, entrepreneurs, managers, leaders & founders
  • Clients from : Hotel Business, Luxury watch Industry, Non- Profit Organizations, Start-ups
Katarzyna is a certified Akashic Record Consultant. She is fascinated by Quantum Physics, Process Oriented Psychology and Spirituality.

Frangy, France 
(Polish, French, English)

Petra

Associate Partner

Process Consulting & Transformation, Intercultural Bridge Builder & Advisor (India : Europe)

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Strategic procurement
  • Supply chain management
    IT hardware & consumer
    goods
  • Transformation &
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    process consulting for
    small and medium
    organisations
  • Apprenticeship consulting
  • 12 years work & living
    experience India

CLIENTS

  • IT industry
  • Sports Industry
  • Non-profit Organisation
  •  Wholesale & retail
     organisations (consumer
     goods)
20+ Years in Leadership positions at one of the most successful companies in the Technology sector. Volunteer for the inclusion of Varanasi, India in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Stuttgart, Germany Varanasi, India (German, English)

Ebru

Associate Partner

Senior executive with 20 years of corporate experience, ICF- certified Integral Coach, Trainer & Facilitator, Business Transformation, Innovation, Strategy, Marketing, Sales Expert, Founder of ‘The Fluid You’

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Business Transformation
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  • Consumer Centricity
  • Innovation and Project management
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  • Organisational culture transformation
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  • Team and Organisational development
  • Team facilitation
  • Diversity & Inclusion

CLIENTS

  • Phillip Morris International (as internal transformation coach)
  • Personal coaching clients: senior executives, entrepreneurs, academics, NGO executives, diversity advocates, and individual contributors.
  •  400+ coaching hours

 

With Economics and Psychology BA’s both from Yale University, Ebru is passionate and experienced about transformation of individuals, leaders, businesses, and organisations, all in equal measures.

 

London, UK (Turkish, English)