Based on her personal and professional experience, Karine Pons proposes to accompany each person to consciously lead their life and the organisations of which they are a part to become the best version of themselves.
Her story and the beginning of her career
Karine Pons is 50 years old and the mother of two daughters aged 15 and 17. Married for 30 years, she would define her couple as a team as they have taken turns in their lives to be present for their children.
Karine is an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) coach and instructor: Mindfulness meditation is a method based on over 40 years of research and 50,000 scientific studies.
It is based on concentration, attention to the present moment, awareness of one’s body, mind and emotions. The objective is to gradually become aware of what is happening in us at a given moment, in our head and body, and to be able to identify our emotions without trying to modify them.
Karine teaches under different protocols and also organises retreats that focus on the theme of the encounter that is close to her heart and the authentic connection it creates. She is inspired by the philosophical work of Charles Pépin who speaks of the conditions for creating spaces for encounter.
As far as her education is concerned, she followed a fairly conventional path (HEC prep school and then business school) and then held various management positions in retail groups (the retail sector includes all merchants who sell items to individual consumers).
The thread that runs through all these activities and experiences is her love of human relations, management and teamwork: she has become aware of the impact that everyone has on the lives of individuals and the responsibility that this impact must be as positive as possible.
The key event that made her want to get started
In 2008, a threat of multiple sclerosis threatened a life she thought she had under control. She was imposing a frantic pace of life on her body and did not know how to listen to it.
It was while consulting a neurologist that he spoke to her about the degree of ignorance of autoimmune diseases and their possible reversibility: she clung to this idea. It was in this way that she learned about meditation in spite of herself by learning about the workings of the brain and neuroscience.
Her entry was initially scientific and Cartesian before she fully assumed her path towards meditation. At that time, she was a young mother and she questioned her values and her life: the birth of her children was going to crack her certainties about the meaning of a life dedicated to work.
In 2016 she decided to leave everything behind to find an activity in line with her values. She then enrolled in the MBSR training, telling herself that she would have nothing to lose. Then came coaching. She found a coaching masterclass close to her home and signed up for it.
At that time, speakers from all over the world, such as Kabat Zinn, shared their teachings: she discovered another way of working that corresponded to her values and that respected the living. These teachings put the individual back at the centre of her decisions. She then felt drawn to this complementary path between coaching and mindfulness.
Her relationship to wellness and mental health
It was through training and instinct that she discovered these concepts: MBSR is there to deal with chronic pain, to deal with difficult emotions, and most participants signed up because they had an intuition to go down a different path than the one they had been following up to now. One of the foundations of the programme is to explore these limits without ever going beyond them. The unshakeable rule is to take care of yourself.
Educating his generation with injunctions of “be strong” and “not even bad”, has put well-being and mental health in the background. But today, it is the foundation and pillar of all these interventions. According to her, 2020 has only been a catalyst for an underlying, unconscious malaise and a society that has progressively moved away from these basic needs and its humanity.
Helping people feel better, improving their outlook on life and their state of mind
According to scientific studies, helping and doing good is good for health because it acts on certain areas of the brain. However, Karine prefers to use the term “support” rather than “help” because one of the foundations of MBSR is to recognise that the person they are supporting is complete and has all the necessary resources within them.
Her first consultation
Her first consultation was marked by the same questions, namely the will to do well. Even though she knew that she was only a companion, she felt a sense of imposture and discomfort, because she had not assimilated this teaching well. But with time, she now feels that she has integrated it a little more, even though the will to do well is still there.
The advice she has to share
For Karine, you really have to become aware of the importance of the body : the body never lies and our thoughts are often wrong. You have to learn to listen to these physical sensations, step back to be more discerning and train your mind regularly.
But above all, never give up, take care of yourself no matter what happens, no matter what you are told.
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