Aurora Meneghello is a Transformational Coach and the Founder of Repurpose Your Purpose, a program to help people change careers by using what they already know to do something new. She hosts events, coaches groups, and works with individuals from all over the world who want to live a fulfilling and purposeful life.
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why?
The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer This book changed my life and I have written more than a blog post about its effect on my work. Singer’s autobiography shows you what it’s like to give up trying to control the world, and what happens when you finally let go. And then practice, practice, practice. It took me 3 years to fully absorb the teachings in a way I could live them on a day to day basis. And to this day I go back to the book if I feel I am getting off track. I often give it to clients as a gift, and always recommend it.
What Are Bad Recommendations You Hear In Your Profession Or Area Of Expertise?
This is a really good question…one of the biggest open secrets of coaching is that you can only work as deep as your coach has gone. And some people who share career advice have not done very deep work, so they think a strategy or tactic that worked for them, or for some people, can work across the board. In other words, they work and share advice at a very superficial level, or from the top down. One of my main areas of expertise is working with career changers who are not sure what they want to do next. If this is you, chances are you are already doing a ton of thinking about your situation, you have already spent hours (if not years) thinking about what you like or don’t like, and heard all the advice out there. Real transformation happens at a very deep level and transcends specific strategies. That’s the level I work with. After years of intense work on myself, I continue to deepen my capacity to tune in to and support clients at this deeper level of Being. When you experience this type of support, and work with someone who honors your own inner wisdom and timing, your life changes. The results transcend your career choices.
In The Last Five Years, What New Belief, Behavior, Or Habit Has Most Improved Your Life?
The practice of Radical Acceptance. We are all bombarded with messages of not being and not having enough. And our culture, especially here in the United States, is for the most part not accepting of “negative” emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, jealousy, etc. Many years ago, after my dad passed away, I learned of a much different approach. Since then, and especially during the past five years, I have been deepening my capacity to feel my feelings, and to accept myself as I am. The more I am able to practice radical acceptance, the more I can access my own innate ability to heal from the inside out. This is also a practice that infuses my coaching. It’s radically countercultural and incredibly fulfilling.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Working with my coach. He also works at a deep level and my experience with him has completely transformed my life.
Feel your body and your body speaks to you.
What Careers Advice Would You Give To Your 21-Year Old Self?
To my 21-year old self I would simply say: “I love you as you are. Now. You don’t need to do or be anything more in order to be loved.” I have experienced, and I see every day with my clients, the power of love, radical acceptance, and compassion. When you are loved and accepted as you are, your drive to grow as a human being does not diminish. On the contrary, you can’t help but grow. And of course this also means that love, compassion, and acceptance are qualities to cultivate within yourselves. Think of it as a loop: whether it starts with you receiving such love or you start by cultivating your capacity to love others, this positive loop expands to encompass everything. Can you imagine the world we could create if these were the values we all held as most sacred?
Tell us about your business. What does it do and what value do you add?
I work with people who are looking to embrace life, create with presence and purpose, and who are up to transforming more than just their careers: they want a life of Purpose, lived at their full potential. We are taught that we need to compromise, struggle, act small or work hard in order to just even survive. We are bombarded with reminders that we are not good enough, should have, could have, would have. It doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to live a life that feels aligned with your values. It is possible to feel peaceful during hard times, to deepen one’s sense of Self while living a more expansive life, to create businesses and organizations that work for everyone involved. It is possible to be happy and relaxed, to feel inner peace. It is possible to experience living a life of purpose at your full potential. Beginning right now. I work primarily with: – Career changers who are not sure what they would like to do next. I offer an interactive group program a couple of times a year, and also coach individuals one on one. – Individuals who want to expand their lives beyond what they think is possible. This is very deep, transformational work designed to support you in living a life that is true to your deepest Self. And I host and facilitate events designed to foster transformation through true connection.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I tried other professions. I love what I do and cannot imagine doing anything else ♥
What is the most common mistake you see people make when applying for a job?
The best thing you can do for yourself is to only apply to jobs you genuinely want. Or, if you don’t have enough information, to jobs you think you could possibly want. The interview process is a discovery process for all parties involved, so it’s good to be open. The biggest mistake people make – and one we all have made at some point! – is to get scared and to apply for a job out of fear or desperation. Then we ignore the red flags, do not ask for what we want, etc. In these situations, if you are lucky, you will not get the job. If you are unlucky, you might end up in a position that is a very bad fit for you. One of the biggest misconceptions is that we are supposed to simply be OK no matter what our environment, “though it up,” and brush off unpleasant work situations. But if you have ever worked with a team, boss, or on tasks that were a bad fit for you, you know that the more you stay in such an environment, the worse you feel about yourself. If the environment is truly toxic, you can even experience PTSD symptoms. As human beings our natural state is to feel each other, including having emotional reactions to mistreatment, etc. That’s our internal compass. You are not meant to override it, you are meant to learn how to honor it. It’s a lot easier to do the work upfront to find a job that is a good fit for you (even if it takes longer), than to get yourself out of a bad work situation. I wrote about whether to choose a job for money here.
What is a 'hack' you have for careers or interviews that most people don't know about?
I often work with my clients on being more present and tuned in. And I also work with people on feeling each other’s presence, to deeply connect. I believe this ability to truly be present, tune in, be yourself while at the same time staying open to the human being(s) you are interacting with is super important. And highly underrated! This is true even more now that we are all communicating on video. You can learn how to be so deeply present that the entire experience shifts.
What is a useful skill someone could learn in one minute?
Feel your body. Your body speaks to you and is an excellent way to access how you really feel about people and situations. Get in the habit to check in with yourself multiple times during the day, including during meetings and conversations. Are you tensing up? Do you feel something in your stomach? Relax your tense muscles and pay attention to what triggers feelings of closeness or alert. This simple practice will help you immensely in living a fulfilling life by (re)connecting with yourself.
What's something exciting you're currently working on/learning that only a few people know about?
At the moment, I am studying the practice of non-violence in the tradition of Gandhi’s Satyagraha. Like most people, even though I had read about it, I did not truly understand it. True non-violence practice requires a lot of commitment and dedication; it is a spiritual practice that encompasses both the individual and the group. Mahatma Gandhi is one of the people whose work has had a big impact in my life. As I get older, I find even more Truth and inspiration in his teachings.