Mind. Body. Work. Life. ... Will.

As a small girl, I grew up in a loving family. Self-confidence and self-esteem were instilled in me from an early age. I was allowed to make my own choices, as long as I also took responsibility for my actions. I'm very rational and analytical by nature, which is why my preference in school was mathematics.

I met my husband when I was studying in Leuven. We got married, started our own business, went scuba diving and snowboarding together and enjoyed life. We had two sons and everything was going great for us. Still, it wasn't always a bed of roses. Things happened that I just didn't want to face. Sometimes I applied the ostrich policy and stuck my head in the sand. After a 15-year relationship we parted as friends. 

After my divorce, I ended up in a newly blended family. My new partner also had three sons of his own about the same age as my boys. The first year, we were on cloud nine: our five boys got along really well and we had the time of our lives. Less than two years later, cloud nine had been replaced by black storm clouds. We often argued about the children and I sometimes thought that breaking up was the only solution. 

In the meantime, I'd also decided to 'divorce' at my job. I no longer wanted to stay in the ICT world, so I decided to take a sabbatical year to look for a new direction in my professional life. Three months turned into a year and a half and I was still looking for my meaning in the world, which caused a lot of unrest in my head. 

I hardly got any exercise, had gained 10 kg, panted with every exertion and often lay in bed worrying. To top it all off, that year my father passed away very unexpectedly from heart failure. My world fell apart. 

Had I left my job and marriage to be worse off? That couldn't possibly have been the intention, could it? The choices I'd made hadn't been impulsive or wrong, and yet I didn't feel any happier. My life was a mess! 

Then I met Anja, life coach and plus parent coach. I went to her for coaching to get my life in order and step by step I learned to fill in my role as a stepmum differently, so that peace and harmony returned to our family. It became a quest for myself and for my role as stepmum. During the coaching process, I discovered my talents and suddenly it became clear which direction I wanted to take professionally: coaching people just like Anja had helped me. I felt the passion as soon as I was working on personal development, both for myself and others. I followed a coaching course and soon after I started my own coaching practice. Helping other people take back control of their lives gave me energy and the meaning I was looking for in this world. I could be proud of myself again. 

I learned to listen to my feelings and choose myself again and again. As soon as I felt good inside, I could also shine at home. I was bursting with energy! I became a better mum, a more sensitive wife and a more loving stepmum. I liked myself again. That quest has made me a richer person. 

A few years later, I found that most people either don't seek help or seek help too late, and that frustrated me as a coach. Their relationship is almost broken or they're waiting for a burnout before they dare to question their job. The comfort zone is so seductive because of its predictability and at the same time the fear of the unknown is often too great to really take steps towards change. Why do people want to figure it out and solve it all themselves? It seems like they want to reinvent the wheel over and over again. The step towards help in the broad sense is often too big. And that gave me an idea. If people find the way to me difficult, then I must go to the people. In order to help more people faster, more efficiently, more innovatively and even more environmentally friendly, I poured my expertise into an online programme. 

But I wanted to see the bigger picture: I want to help people in different life domains, because they're connected. I made a distinction between four important domains: your work, your private life, your physical health and your mental mindset, in short MIND-BODY-WORK-LIFE. I took several courses in Belgium and abroad and trained myself to learn about the different life domains so I could also help my own clients in those different domains. The more I learned, the more I got the feeling that I couldn't be an expert in all the domains. Until I suddenly realised that I didn't have to be an expert in everything, but that I could bring the experts together on my platform. And that's how Will was born. 

The Mind-Body-Work-Life model

The Mind-Body-Work-Life model

Will believes that everything is connected: your professional life, your physical health, your mental health and your personal life. In a nutshell: MIND-BODY-WORK-LIFE. When one of these isn't going well and keeps dragging on, it pulls the other domains down with it. If you have problems at work, you start worrying, you sleep badly, you're tired and in a bad mood and you take it out on your environment. If your relationship hasn't been good for a long time, it will also have an impact on your work and on your physical and mental health. 

In my own situation I had no professional prospects (WORK), which caused my self-esteem to plummet (MIND) and I started to focus too much on my family (LIFE). My work-life balance was no longer in balance. I had no outlet through work and that made me search for my identity in my household, children, relationship. I had the wrong beliefs (MIND) and wanted to run my newly blended family like a traditional family. Because I felt bad about myself, I also started to eat more (comfort food and fast food), I didn't go out in nature as much and I exercised less. I didn't give my body what it needed (BODY). I was in a vicious circle spiralling downwards and I didn't know how to get out. 

Will's programmes will always focus on a positive mindset. That is necessary to create lasting change. By taking small steps in each domain and asking yourself what the real cause is, you can push your life back in a positive direction. If there's harmony in these four domains, then you're well on your way to a happy and successful life. 

Patsy Vanleeuwe

Patsy Vanleeuwe

Patsy Vanleeuwe is a life coach and trainer, a mother and a wife. In her coaching practice, she's guided many people to a happier and more successful life. Her knowledge of online platforms and years of experience as a life coach form the perfect combination for creating online programmes for personal development.