The Heroine’s Journey of Isolde Kanikani

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

In the last year I have started the process of a career switch. I felt like my work with purely cultural activities is complete and it’s time for a new challenge. After finishing a crazy number of professional qualifications including change management and a masters HRM, I now have the opportunity to work in an organisation that feels personally fulfilling again. Time is valuable and there are so many exciting things to experience and be part of out there, I want to make an intrinsic difference with my work.

What is my idea of happiness?

Happiness is an elusive beast, instead, I prefer to embrace all emotions as they give context to each other. Thinking of times I was happy I would have to say the times I am in the flow with my work, in nature, got tonnes of animals around me and best of all when my man is close. I enjoy contact, sharing and playfulness.

What is my greatest fear?

One of my greatest fears is that I am not doing enough, this is because I don’t really have a strong image of how I appear on the outside. My inner world and drive is strong which is great but doesn’t help to get a birds-eye view sometimes. I also fear being left by my loved ones, leaving is a part of life and so is coming close.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I am overthinking everything while holding myself up to perfectionist high ideals. A long side of this giving other people so much slack that they get used to a high level of security and comfort with me. But when this is misused a number of times (inevitable with this pattern), I feel more abused than valued and have a strong reaction. This has greatly softened over the years but the pattern still creeps up on me from time to time. Mostly when a situation or person is really important to me.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I must say I don’t really know what my profession is at the moment. I am in a time of transformation. The most inspiring person in my mind now is the author Charles Handy and his capacity to think outside the box. Deeply questioning the status quo and not staying quiet about it because maybe for some it might be uncomfortable. Challenging important topics, beliefs and patterns is the road to change.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I think it would have to be my soft-top car whose powerful engine can keep up with my style of driving. I choose elegance and speed over practical, and I am writing this with a big smile on my face. Beautiful clothing would be a close second. I think in the last months it could also be educating myself, but I am not sure if this is really an extravagance because I will be able to get better jobs because of it.

On what occasion would I lie?

I try not to. I used to tell white lies if people’s feelings might get hurt. But I learned after a while that they mostly know if you don’t say something that’s truthful and it’s better to be kind but genuine. Honesty is far more appreciated than telling people what they want to hear. I am still learning this skill though.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I dislike the feeling that my time is being wasted, especially when so much goodwill and effort went into a task or project. Making a difference on a deeper level to an organisation is what speaks to me. I am feeling more often now that superficial tasks were for other times in my life and now it’s time to find a niche where getting into the nitty-gritty is what it’s all about.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Some of my happiest moments were teaching and performing as a professional dancer. I love to teach people to dance, because it’s actually a possibility to bring them in touch with their own physicality and sense of self. Important in this age of computers and online meetings. My best performances were when I was so open in my expression that people were moved to another thought or emotion than what they came with walking into the room.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

In the last years, there have been many big extreme situations arising in my life. Both positive and negative when thinking about the impact. Some incredibly beautiful and others heartbreaking. I would like to get rid of the weight of all these experiences and let them somehow percolate into who I am. As they are presently, these little weights can suddenly get too heavy and provoke situations that are not what I would associate with myself in previous years. I would like to come back to my own equilibrium.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Being lucky enough to not only have one successful profession for many years of my life, but to have my own business Iwi and now being able to make the transition to a new  career. I am beginning a traineeship to become a change and process consultant and I am really looking forward to discovering the next step in my working journey.

Where would I most like to live?

I love Amerongen, but more importantly home is with my man and family. I could live in a lot of places with nature and my own garden. I could imagine living in a Spanish speaking country again, this would be fun to get my Spanish back to a good level. I have lost my feeling of belonging to anyone land due to my family living in multiple countries, my extensive travel and having lived in more places. I made a decision a while ago that I connect with being a European citizen, it somehow explains me and certainly impacts the place where i want to live. So Brexit came as a strange experience where suddenly you aren’t a European citizen anymore due to being born in the UK.

What is my most treasured possession?

I am not really someone who hangs onto possessions. But if there was a fire I would grab as many of my family paintings and artwork. There are many artists, teachers and business people in my family. It means we have some really cool original art in the house.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I am not scared to try things even though I can be scared. Getting things started, sorting things out and finishing things well.

What is my most inspirational location in my city?

I live in a small town, the woods and nature here is the best thing about this place.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

There is a small pub close to nature, that sits on a busy interjunction of two small old roads. Many motorbikes and walkers pass on the way to somewhere else. We enjoy sitting there with the energy this creates, hopefully with sun and some delicious food to hand.

What books influenced my life and how?

Recently I read some really fantastic books. My influence book list would be: The one minute manager by Ken Blanchard, The empty raincoat and The age of reason by Charles Handy, Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein, The Antichrist by Nietzche and last but not least my dutch workbook that is truly helping me to improve my dutch.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?

Antony & The Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Lady Polgara from the books by David Eddings. I read these books when I was 12 and loved that she was full of integrity, was magical and lived a long time. Since then I have read these books over and over when i need some quiet time for myself.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

I think i have to investigate this. Sadly the answer now is while many people have had a huge impact on my life, I can’t say I have a real-life hero or Heroine.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

The Godfather, Charlie chaplins ‘City lights’ and Laurel and Hardy’s Utopia and all the westerns and black and white movies, as a kid these shaped me when I didn’t have anything else. Films were a big part of my early forming and first remembered feelings of being individual. That and my wish to wear pink and no trousers to my parents’ despair between the ages of 4 and 7 years old. A true girl but tomboy too. Then my favourite deep pink sandals broke and that was the end of that.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art was my life, it’s a continual frustration not to be expressing myself, but when i have the freedom to do so, i was also frustrated to be able to express myself enough. I realise now after a truly cold turkey experience leaving the dance profession, that art is in everything. Lawyers are artists for their artist and ability to convince people in court. A business woman needs to be creative to innovate and stay competitive. A doctor always thinks outside of the box to save lives. Art inevitably is a message from the deepest part of ourselves, given to the world to understand as it pleases. Short answer beauty, expression and frustration.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

Complete freedom and fate don’t exist in my idea of the world. The way I treat the roads of connection, decisions and relationships define my life story. We won’t know until the end what can happen. But I feel very sure that even now I have 1000s of stories in me and by the end many more to tell.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My man is my biggest sponsor. We met 4 years ago and he is becoming ever more a partner in crime, not literally although he has jokingly asked why we haven’t ever contemplated this. Thank you to whoever brought him into my life, a beautiful unexpected but very much appreciated surprise.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020?

I would at some point like to work with Deloitte, Supply value and am currently working with The people side of change and Proces Specialisten.

Which people in my profession can make a real difference in my creative career?

I would love to meet the boss’s of Deloitte and Supply value.

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to working on?

With my company Iwi, we will be launching a big project at the end of 2021 Corona situation allowing. I will also be working in some change projects within my new job and truly excited to gain new experience in this field.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

In October i will be launching my new book I:DNA which aims to help get small organisations further along the road to their dreams. The book is already written and waiting for publication. Besides this Iwi will be starting a new center for the social and cultural community of Utrecht. AND for me personally, i will be behind the scenes with my new job learning a new trade.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Why live if you don’t do it passionately and with a furtherance of dreams. I am tranquil but I don’t stand still.

How can you contact me?,,

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