Learning to Fly and Soar with Conscious Courage

For the past 16 years I’ve learned how to fly and soar with courage, thanks to my spirit teacher H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Last Tuesday was a day of celebration, where we thank our gurus and the lineage of gurus, for being on the path of spiritual wisdom.

This is both a personal and professional path of self-development, because I don’t think you can separate the two. One affects the other.

We all have these special people in our lives who make a difference. Whose guidance and impact have changed the course of our lives for the better. Our mothers and fathers, big brothers and sisters, teachers, coaches, colleagues and managers.  Each have left an indelible mark on our lives.

Last Tuesday the senior teachers in the Art of Living Foundation were asked to go on stage and share how our spiritual teacher has positively impacted their lives. We were asked to keep the sharing short and to the point.

I wanted to present my story, but as I had a volunteer job that needed attending to, I didn’t present mine. However,  I would like to briefly share with you now how the past 16 years in the Art of Living have transformed my life.

It came to me as I was driving home from the Montreal Ashram, passing many beautiful homes built along the Ottawa River.  It reminded me of the home my husband and I built along the Gatineau River in 2004.  Having a home and paying off the mortgage, like many people do, we were growing roots which gave our family stability.  And yet in 2014, we sold our home and moved to Asia, uprooting the family stability. Everyone in our family and community of friends thought we were crazy. All, except our daughter, for whom we had made the decision to move to Singapore.

How could we make such a huge change in our lives?  This isn’t normal behaviour. There aren’t many people who would leave the comfort of home for an adventure of this  kind, and move to the other side of the planet, without a job or sustainable income to rely upon.

Art of Living International Center, Montreal, Quebec

Simply put, I had learned to fly and soar with conscious courage.

The courage to believe with confidence that I had the capabilities required to make a difference.

The courage to not let fears get in the way of living our dreams.

The courage to trust that the universe would provide the support necessary, in return for hard work, one pointed focus, and giving our 100%.

Art of Living International Center, Montreal, Quebec

Where did this conscious courage come from and how was it formed?

From the Art of Living Happiness Program and teachings of H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.  I have him to thank for 5 years of wonderful memories; living in Singapore, travelling throughout Asia, being with my daughter, and seeing her young family grow up. My heart is filled to bursting with love and gratitude at the wonder of this achievement in the later years of our lives.

The Art of Living Programs deliver more than mindfulness. They awaken the heart, connecting us to the core of our beings, our true potential, and what truly matters in our lives.

For corporations, there is the TLEX Program, (Transformational Leadership for Excellence).  Awakening the corporate soul and building connection and trust.

For schools, there is the YES Programs (for Youth Empowerment Seminar), and many more programs delivered by the International Association of Human Values (IAHV).

Thank you Guruji, for your enlightened wisdom. I continue to feel immense love and gratitude for a life that is filled with new adventures every day.

Jai Guru Dev (Victory to Higher Consciousness).


Much love from Ottawa, Canada.


Be sure to visit our Free Resource Center to get access to free e-books, worksheets and other valuable leadership development resources.

Our Signature Keynote – Awakening the Heart of Leadership Potential

To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

To learn how well aligned you are with your workplace culture and what is impact performance, contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.