The Heroine’s Journey of Helene Spork

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

I love to use all my gifts and skills for a customized and often cheerful road to (inner) peace.

Did I get that already at 18? No way . I am gifted with a creative and intelligent mind, a mighty strong intuition and an awful bunch of cheerfulness, but at 18 had no clue how to direct it, so wandered quite a bit. I chose law and psychology to find out how and why people react to (the lack of) rules. I chose politics to test my idea(l)s for society. I chose entrepreneurship having found out I am at my best when often on my own. I chose geomancy because so often the root cause of a conflict is in the location (that really doesn’t go for big ones like Israel/Palestine only). And then I got it.

I believe that a lack of (inner) conflicts is the best way to set and achieve goals and I LOVE to contribute to it in the various ways I became master of during the years.

What is my idea of happiness?

Those days when even the smallest things (like gardening, having a coffee with your mother) make you feel contributing to a better world. It’s easy to celebrate the achievements that will get you many likes on social media, but it’s essential to acknowledge that those small things need to be done with the same intention. To me, it proves that you don’t only practice what you preach, but practice what you are.

What is my greatest fear?

I believe I handled my fears. In 2012, I did all the life events on a row. I divorced my first husband, got a serious disease, lost a company to my business partner… in short: almost bankrupt, almost dead. An interesting year that taught me a lot.

It doesn’t mean I am never afraid (which would imply being reckless), but the big fears don’t impress me that much anymore.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Getting distracted.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

James Doty (for his compassion), Scilla Ellworthy (for her dedication to peace)

What is my greatest extravagance?

When I really fall in love with something, I just buy it and don’t care what it costs. Just after my divorce (when ‘smart’ people acknowledge to save some money instead of spending it) I wanted to make a trip my kids would never forget. We chose Madagascar and traveled through the jungle for a few weeks (with a guide ). Best decision ever.

On what occasion would I lie?

If I could save my kids’ lives with it.

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

Fake people, who can’t distinguish the illusion from reality and who dislike you for disrupting the illusion, even if that’s exactly what they hired you for.

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

My heart is dancing when people start to see that their issue can be solved.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Lose some weight.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

That’s up to my clients.

Recently a coachee in pharmaceutic industry wrote: I feel happy, healthy and fulfilled (I sincerely wondered if he ever applied those words on himself before we started). That makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s an individual coachee or a big company; I just love it when my clients get in place (as in: are passionately and successful doing what they came here for).

Where would I most like to live?

I love living in the Netherlands, although I have spent quite some time abroad. I would love to spend another few years in New Zealand.

What is my most treasured possession?

I don’t believe in possession but can enjoy the illusion of it. In that case, my most treasured is to wear exclusive jewelry that looks like normal beads to somebody who doesn’t recognize it.

And for the last 28 years, I have written all stories and signed all important documents with a Parker Duofold Coral Centennial in Viper Green ink by Farber-Castell.

PS it doesn’t mean I don’t send invoices . I value my work very well within the systems available. 

What is my most marked characteristic?

Cheerfulness.

A happy woman is one who has no cares at all; a cheerful woman is one who has cares but doesn’t let them get her down.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

My Amsterdam canal house with its magnificent view over the Oosterdok-harbor.

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

Van Beeren. An old intimate café with local people and great French fries.

What books influenced my life and how?

When I was 12 years old, I finished the local library. I LOVE reading.

It’s tempting to state the books everybody (should have) read already. I won’t. I stood in front of my bookcase and from close to 6000 books, I picked the ones that grabbed my attention first.

Benoîte Groult – Les vaisseaux du coeur: it gave me a new view on the intensity of love

Marianne Frederikson – Skilda verkligheter (something like: the mystery of love; I read it in Dutch); a novel about how love bridges the planets of a rational man and an intuitive woman.

Muriel Barbery – L’élégance du herisson: written in the most beautiful French, this is a novel about a concierge who secretly studies all big philosophers and reveals her knowledge by accident when replying on a deep philosophical joke spontaneously. Pure joy to read. In a way, I feel like the concierge sometimes by steadily and modestly working in the background.

Coleman Barks – Bridge to the soul, journeys into the music and silence of the heart. Newly translated poems to commemorate Rumi’s 800th birthday. – I think the best translation of Rumi’s fantastic poems in a language I manage.

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

Queen – Don’t stop me now.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Pippi Langkous.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Montesquieu, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Jaap Voigt and my Taoist teachers.

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

I don’t really like movies: I prefer books.

What role plays art in my life and work?

A huge one. I love to sculpt, write and sing. I often make a sculptures, stories or songs of projects I was involved in; it makes you sense the result in a different way. If there’s an issue on my plate I can’t seem to solve, I often get inspiration by “asking” an artwork to show me a new viewpoint on the matter.

In musea, I love to drop by, sense one piece of art that really touches me and go back ten times to see all one by one.

I cherish the memories of all those huge popconcerts I joined (the Police, Bowie, Queen, Pink Floyd, Prince, Lady Gaga) and am a huge fan of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

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

True.

I am currently writing a novel situated in the Middle-East to embed some autobiographical stories: “Under the appletree.” Who wants to be kept posted on publishing: let me know.

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

My husband. Closely followed by my parents.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2021?

Someone at TomTom who would like to brainstorm with me on using their technique for another kind of compass.

Someone at Van Wanrooij Bouw & Ontwikkeling to share my viewpoint (and offer my knowledge) on one of their projects.

I would love to be asked for a (to be raised) committee that studies what needs to change in our current political/state model to avoid abuse of power without anybody noticing it. The affair with allowances for childcare brought me to tears several times. I know I can’t change it on my own. I also know I can make a substantial contribution to such a project if (temporary) part of a team of wise people.

What project, in 2021, am I looking forward to work on?

With a colleague, I offer a new program “the Art of Giving” for all those entrepreneurs who lost the balance between giving and getting (twelve weeks on a row, deep dive into the qualities and pitfalls of generosity and mr. Scrooge. Launched on January 4, 2021 and available as online program from January 21 on. For the curious ones… there will be four programs this year and yes, The Art of Receiving is one of them.

Where can you see me or my work in 2021?

I normally don’t reveal who I work for, but my new book “Under the Appletree” will definitely be published in 2021.

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

I will keep working on my goals passionately until I die (and probably thereafter but can’t guarantee it works like that ). What working looks like for me will most likely change a bit over time, but why I do it won’t.

How can you contact me?

I am easy to find on LinkedIn, but you are also welcome to send me an email at howto@getinplace.nl or a whatsapp at +31-6-53701018.

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