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My meeting with the Dalai Lama

Updated: Feb 13

This month, I will have a private audience with His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, at his home in Dharamshala.

What's coming up is guilt about the work that I now do. I'm sharing because as a resilience keynote speaker and trainer, I think this might be present for you as well.

For context, I am one of 15 leaders who have been selected to join the Compassionate Leaders Summit, to be guided by His Holiness' as we bridge inner and outer transformation.

I was originally selected three years ago because of the activism and political work I was doing. With Alter Ego, I was attempting to integrate spirituality into politics and address political polarisation; and with Extinction Rebellion, I was trying to express these values in a mass movement for climate change.

Now I am in the corporate world, giving talks and trainings on resilience and leadership. My deeper intention is to be a cautionary tale so people avoid the terrible consequences of burnout. And the bigger vision is to mainstream a therapeutic culture where healing and growth become commonplace.

AND, a big underlying motivation for this is financial. As many of you know, I have a complex, chronic health condition as a result of burnout from my previous work, and have been trying to find new solutions, which are not cheap. I am also in my thirties, and want to start a family so I'm in wealth building mode so I can buy a home.

Maybe it's some activist hangover or martyr complex, but I feel guilty that I am giving to people who already have a lot, when so many people are in extreme levels of suffering.

I listen to the stories of my fellow participants and am humbled by their contributions. Shabana Basij-Rasikh has set up a boarding school for Afghan girls to be educated for the first time. Now that the Taliban has return, she has to secure safe passage for her students to Rwanda. It was heartbreaking to hear her story of losing her home.

Right now, my Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford classmate Rafiullah Kakar is coordinating relief efforts in Pakistan, where 33 million people have been displaced.

I wanted to invite you into a process I am privately struggling with, to see if there are others that wrestle with this.

This piece was originally shared as a post on my LinkedIn and inspired by day-to-day insights from my own experience with burnout and my work as a resilience keynote speaker and trainer.

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