Manuela Damant from Azkua opened her talk by reading to us an extract from Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Manuela invited everyone to site together in a circle while she read the story of “Sealskin, Soulskin”. Just like story time with my kids, the scene was set, and through the telling with Manuela’s rich voice we discovered the tale of a women who loses her sealskin and thereby her connection to her soul and her true inner being.


Manuela’s own beginnings as a Risk & Insurance Advisor took her on a journey through the steps shown in the Heroine’s Journey below. She started looking for her purpose after realising there was more to life than toiling night and day in a highly successful job. She escaped to work as a coach some 15 years ago and is now focused on encouraging women to embrace their innate leadership skills to create a better world.



All these past feelings point us in the direction of our purpose; they help us to find our calling and help us in our journey to change our mindset from using disempowering archetypes to empowering archetypes.


Manuela used the example of a situation in which she and her husband had both had a tough day, to which she needed to react with a bit of ‘bite’. In the Disempowering Mindset, this may be expressed by taking on the role of the Bitch and competing to see who had had the toughest day. This negativity stimulated Manuela to explore new archetypes and find a more powerful way to be and reconnect with her own power. By taking on the Queen role for example, if her day and her husband’s had been tough, instead of competing about who had had the worst day, she would negotiate who should take the first half hour to relax.


This approach works with corporations too, as the way we manage organisations seems increasingly out of date. Deep inside, we sense that more is possible. We long for soulful workplaces, for authenticity, community, passion and purpose. In Frederic Laloux’s book, Reinventing Organizations, he shows that in the past, when humanity shifted to a new stage of consciousness, it  achieved extraordinary breakthroughs in collaboration. A new shift in consciousness is already under way. Could it help us invent a radically more soulful and purposeful way to run our businesses and non-profits, schools and hospitals? [Frederic Laloux]


By using 5 different archetypes, Manuela shared that we can empower each situation in order to feel better. We should learn how to use these archetypes, bring them home and use them in our work. By doing so, we will find our own female power and leadership without ego, and will be able to find the joy in every situation.

By using this new mindset ourselves, we can entice others, both men and women, to start using it too. In fact, Manuela suggested that once we have mastered this mindset, it is our job to teach others about the empowering archetypes. In doing so, let the heart take the lead from the brain and in this way form a new paradigm, a new level of consciousness.


Further reading:

Empowering Archetypes from One of Many

Reinvention Organizations by Frederic Laloux

Tedx Talk: Brené Brown “The Power of Vulnerability

Author and Photos: Lisa Hall