About Özlem

Welcome, I’m honoured you’re here…

Qualifications

  • Master’s in Positive Psychology (MAPP), the Science of Wellbeing and Flourishing – University of Melbourne (Final year)
  • Accredited in several diagnostic modalities to empower individuals with self-awareness and emotional intelligence such as: DISC, The Leadership Circle
  • Bachelor of Business, Accounting major – University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

I’m Özlem, the Founder of Spirit of Womankind. I’m a women’s well-being researcher and educator. I created this digital platform for women who want to fulfill their potential and flourish in their life without burning out.

 

I’m dedicated to changing the narrative women have been told about being ‘full of themselves’ – defined as valuing and putting themselves first, accessing their inner wisdom, and leading their life from within so they can fulfill their true potential and flourish.

 

Have you ever heard the phrase: “She’s so full of herself”? This phrase is often used when referring to a woman who exhibits self-confidence, self-love and self-worth. Unfortunately, this phrase is often said with negativity and judgement. As a result, out of fear of being judged in this way, many women end up ’empty’ of themselves, rather than ‘full’ of themselves.

 

From a well-being perspective, “being full of yourself” is healthy. It means you know and accept yourself, have a positive relationship with yourself and actively work towards fulfilling your potential in life (being all you can be), feeling good, functioning well and flourishing in life. As you can see, from a well-being perspective, being full of yourself need not mean you are better than others; instead, it can mean that you are better able.

 

When you are full of yourself (your cup is full), you are better able to show up as your true self, know your worth, make empowered choices, work towards your goals, and make a difference in the world around you. When you show up in the world full of yourself (your cup is full) – you have more to offer the world, and you are better able to be of service to others without burning out. Therefore, being “full of yourself” deserves to be congratulated, not judged, because it takes ‘work’ to show up like that.

 

…and this ‘work’ is where real self-care comes in – which I define as ‘inner-care’ – the intersection of psychological and spiritual well-being. This view is based on psychological and spiritual well-being frameworks such as Carol Ryff’s Psychological Well-being model, and Meaning-Centered approaches to flourishing from the field of Positive Psychology.

 

I use the term real self-care because the way the media portrays self-care can be very limiting and externally driven. To me, real self-care isn’t about bath bombs or massages (not that there is anything wrong with pampering, I personally love it!).

Real self-care is about how we relate to ourselves and how we make empowered choices in our lives – which relates to self-worth and self-respect. Real self-care is about taking care of yourself holistically and honouring yourself – your strengths, sense of self, meaning and purpose.

 

Research shows real self-care can specifically be a challenge for women because we tend to:

    • put ourselves last on our list
    • equate our self-worth with what we do/give to others
    • lack boundaries and have trouble saying “no”
    • over-accommodate and over-explain

 

Real self-care can be more challenging for women who struggle with a sense of belonging…something I understand too well. I was born and raised in Australia, I am the daughter of immigrant parents and understand the complexities that come with living between two cultures…and the impact this can have on our sense of self, our sense of belonging, and the permission we give ourselves to pursue our potential and flourish. For this reason, I am particularly passionate about supporting and amplifying the voices of multi-cultural women and daughters of immigrants.

 

Women’s well-being is my personal calling which began during my 15-year corporate career in the world of Corporate Accounting and Global Transformation Projects, which included secondments to the UK, India and Dubai.

 

Throughout my career I experienced habitual burnout which led me to research human potential and flourishing – particularly for women. Over time my career focus shifted to this field, and I have since returned to University to complete my Master’s studies in the science of well-being and flourishing.

 

As a well-being researcher and educator, I love bringing new research and science-backed well-being strategies to women and helping make it easily accessible, practical and applicable to their lives.

 

If you’re ready to make real self-care part of your life but don’t know how to start, or how to be consistent, don’t worry, you’re in the right place, I’m here to help you change that.

 

Thank you for being here.

Mission

About Spirit of WomanKind

Spirit of WomanKind is a portal of well-being research, resources, products and programs especially designed to educate, inspire and support women seeking to fulfill their true potential and flourish in their life.

Studies show that women are suffering from burnout at alarmingly higher rates each year.

 

A large proportion of women feel that they are being carried by the demands of others and not living true to themselves.

 

My work is dedicated to helping change that.

 

Spirit of WomanKind is a digital platform offering well-being science, evidence-based research and spiritual philosophies especially designed to educate, inspire and support women seeking to build their internal capacities (‘inner world’) to lead their lives from within, live true to themselves and fulfill their true potential.

 

The Outcome?

 

Women Flourishing. This is my mission…

 

My Mission:

 

To educate, inspire and support women seeking to build their internal capacities (‘inner world’) to fulfill their true potential and flourish in their life.

What’s in the way of Women Flourishing?

 

Burnout.  According to research burnout may increase mortality by 35%*. Yes, that means burnout may bury you faster. It sounds dramatic, morbid even, but the burnout statistics, especially for women are actually this alarming. ⠀

Studies reveal that women experience higher burnout rates than men and they’re often the last person to realise they are suffering from burn-out.⠀

However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

The factors that lead to negative stress and burn-out are largely external and systemic, and while we need to work toward changing these we need to also address the internal factors.

 

Fortunately, internal factors are within our control.

 

That’s where real self-care comes in.

 

Research has shown that lack of real self-care is an early clue to burn-out because women close to burn-out often find themselves last on their list.⠀

 

Real self-care is building internal capacities (‘inner world’) such as honouring your strengths, building boundaries, developing emotional and spiritual wellbeing, having a sense of self, and establishing meaning and purpose in your life.

When women engage in real self-care, it can become a tool for enhancing their well-being (flourishing) and fulfilling their true potential. Real self-care plays a pivotal role in helping women to make empowered choices in their lives. We can’t become empowered by bubble-baths – the view of self-care largely being portrayed by the media.

 

Real Self-Care. It’s not fluffy, it’s life-changing.

 

Making real self-care part of your life – connecting to yourself, can not only be life-affirming but also life-saving.

 

Real self-care is one of the building blocks to living true to yourself and flourishing in life.

 

When women are no longer being carried away by the demands of others but ensuring that they are making real self-care a priority in their own life, they not only survive but flourish.

 

Ready to make real self-care part of your life but don’t know how?

 

Don’t worry, you’re in the right place because I’m here to help you change that.

 

*Reference: Ahola, K., Väänänen, A., Koskinen, A., Kouvonen, A., & Shirom, A. (2010). Burnout as a predictor of all-cause mortality among industrial employees: a 10-year prospective register-linkage study. Journal of psychosomatic research69(1), 51-57.

Philosophy

8 Pillars of Flourishing and Fulfilment

Why you need to Flourish before you can Thrive:

Flourishing is about growing inward and is the process of connecting with yourself so that you can accept who you are, embrace yourself, unlock your potential and live true to yourself.

 

Thriving is about growing outward and engaging authentically with others in your life and your environment – connecting to your true self is a precursor for this which is why you need to Flourish before you can Thrive.

 

When you’re Flourishing you are more likely to Thrive: when you take care of your inner world first you are more likely to lead your life from within to make empowered choices and be true to yourself – which means you won’t do things at the expense of yourself. When you flourish first, you are better able to engage with the world and do so authentically. It’s hard to thrive when you’re languishing inside, feeling empty inside or trying to be someone you’re not.

 

*Definitions are based on Thriveability Theory by Professor Lindsay G Oades, Director of Centre for Wellbeing Science, University of Melbourne.

SENSE OF SELF-WORTH

You believe you are undeniably worthy to live a true and fulfilling life. You’re on your side – you’re rooting for you – you’re befriending yourself.

SENSE OF AWARENESS

You’re connected with your inner world – your feelings, your triggers, your gut instincts. You know what lights you up and what drains you – and you trust that.

SENSE OF CAPACITY

You love yourself and respect yourself enough to make time for yourself and ensure you fill your cup. You don’t run on empty.

SENSE OF WISDOM

You lead your life from within and make empowered choices based on your inner compass and values and what you know for sure.

SENSE OF PURPOSE

You’re aware of your unique gifts, strengths and talents – the birthplace to your purpose and fulfilment.

SENSE OF HONOURING

You know how to be of service to others and make a difference, whilst establishing and honouring your boundaries, and respecting those of others.

SENSE OF BEAUTY

You appreciate the little things that make a big difference…you make time to experience more of the things that move you, uplift you, fill you with joy and take your breath away.

SENSE OF BELONGING

You find ways to express yourself authentically – you belong to yourself first – you’re not seeking approval or validation. You have a place in the universe and so does everyone else.

Official Bio

Özlem (she//her) is a women’s well-being researcher and educator in her final year of MAPP (Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology), studying the Science of Wellbeing and Flourishing at the University of Melbourne. She is the founder of Spirit of WomanKind, a digital platform for women seeking to fulfill their true potential and flourish in their life, without burning out. Her body of work sits at the intersection of well-being science and spiritual philosophies. Özlem is dedicated to changing the narratives women have been told about being full of themselves, valuing and putting themselves first, accessing their inner wisdom, and leading their life from within to fulfill their true potential and flourish.

 

She is particularly passionate about amplifying the voices of multi-cultural women and daughters of immigrants. As a daughter to immigrant parents herself, she was the first person in her family to go to University and establish a corporate career. She achieved success in the ways that she thought would fulfill her such as: achieving a University entrance ranking in the top 9% of her state; graduating with a Bachelor of Business – Accounting major from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS); and spending over 15 years in the world of Corporate Accounting and Global Transformation Projects – which included secondments to the UK, India and Dubai. However, Özlem realised over time that getting the best out of herself and other people almost always involved being able to show up fully as themselves and working in a way that encourages growth and well-being. Thus, her focus shifted to optimising human potential and flourishing – particularly for women.

 

Özlem has worked with several specialist consultancies in fostering gender diversity, inclusion and equality, change management, culture shaping, and women in leadership development.  Throughout her corporate engagements, Özlem began to see a crippling pattern of habitual burnout among women. Having experienced habitual burnout throughout her own career, Özlem understands the external (culture and systems) and internal (sense of self and potential) contributors of burnout. Therefore, she created Spirit of WomanKind to support women with the internal contributors of burnout, whilst working within organisations to drive systemic changes and design workplaces that enable women to grow, contribute and flourish.

 

Özlem leverages her business acumen and combines it with an intuitive and carefully honed skillset in human behavioural change – analytics plus soft skills – to make a difference in women’s lives. She brings a soft-yet-strong approach to her work and offers a judgement-free zone, steeped in compassion. She infuses well-being science, evidence-based research and spiritual philosophies to give women the practical tools to manage external systems and build internal capacities to design a life that allows them to flourish and feel fulfilled.

 

Özlem is passionate about real self-care – which she defines as building internal capacities (‘inner world’) such as honouring your strengths, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, sense of self, and establishing meaning and purpose in your life.

 

She believes that when women engage in real self-care, it can become a tool for enhancing their well-being and potential. We can’t become empowered by bubble-baths – which is the view of self-care largely being portrayed by the media. However, real self-care can play a pivotal role in helping women to make empowered choices in their lives.

 

If you’re ready to make real self-care part of your life but don’t know how to start or be consistent, don’t worry, she’s here to help change that.

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