Influencer Maureen Merite-Stuger
Interview February 2020
Could you share with us some information of your family life?
I have one younger sister and one brother. My parents are alive and I feel blessed to have them both. Everyday, I am grateful for that. In every way, ever since I was a child up till now, they have always been very supportive towards me. I believe they have modelled for a very great part how I believe our children need to be supported, when they grow up. I was always very busy in my mind, while at the same time feeling and seeying many things, such as energy, that others would not. My parents accepted me just the way I am and thought me to accept myself as I am and that is so meaningful. I recall an evening, I was around age 4, and could not sleep. My mom took me outside on the porch and sat down with me and I put my head in her lap. She stroke my hair and told me in such loving and caring words “You are ok just the way you are and so is each person just ok the way they are. The most important thing is that You believe You are really ok just the way You are!”. She told me to embrace myself and embrace who I am. I could not only hear these words, I could also feel them. This has strengthened me, to become this person I am now. I wish that we could offer this to all children, all people. Tell them all and more important, make them feel within themselves that they are OK just the way they are, while at the same time teaching them to be self critical and through self reflection continiuosly grow.
Are you married and do you have children? And were you born in Curaçao?
I am happily married and we have 2 children. The oldest one, my son, I gave birth to him in my heart, when he was 13 years old and I met my husband. That is when he came into my life. My daughter, the youngest one, is now 7 years old. They are very close with each other, although there is an age difference of 16 years between them. They are both my children, even though I didn’t give birth to my oldest one.
I wasn’t born in Curaçao. I was born in Leiden, Holland and Curaçao is not only where I live, Curaçao is my home.
Could you share with us some of your educational background and past professional experiences as we know that you are an entrepreneur?
My company’s name is Excellerate. I am a coach and trainer and legal advisor. I have worked for 12 years as a lawyer. 6 years in Holland and 6 years here in Curaçao. Afterwards, I have worked for 6 years as a corporate lawyer. After those 18 years, in May 2015, I started my own company. At first I gave legal advices, but I also started more and more to offer coaching and training. The coaching and training has become the bigger part of what I offer to my clients. I like my work as a legal advisor and I am good at it, but I love and am really passionate about coaching, which is what I do best.
I am a certified Master Practitioner and Coach of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and also have earned the distinction of Reiki Second Degree of the Usui System of Natural Healing. In my coaching practice I use these techniques and methods amongst others.
We have met your father recently and he was telling us that you are very passionate in your coaching now and NLP certified practitioner. Where did this come from?
When I knew I wanted to go into coaching and training, with my natural gift to coach and do energy work, I looked deliberately into different coaching fields and I liked the philosophy of the founders of NLP, as it was clear to me, that it wasn’t about them, but it is all about their methods and techniques. This appealed to me, that is why I choose NLP. So now I use it, combined with my communication skills, to trigger the ability within the clients I attend with, to assist them making changes in their mindsets, behavior and emotions. Subsequently, this leads to them taking the actions that are right for them. I always say “Goals and success are reached by mindset, mentality and action. You can have the right mindset and mentality, still if you do not take action you won’t get anywhere.”
As a coach I am assisting people, it is not about me. I am just walking with my clients enabling them to communicate efficiently, connect with their inner-self, assist them in releasing emotions and behavior that no longer serve them good, enabling them to stand in their own strenght.
What does Hypnotherapy entail exactly?
Hypnotherapy entails the use of hypnosis as a means to reduce psychological and physical complaints, to relax and to improve your performance.
First of all, I only use hypnosis with the explicit permission of the client.
Those performers on stage, that claim that they can hypnothyse everybody even those who really don’t want to, well that is a show. Hypnosis is only possible if your subconcious is willing to undergo hypnosis and wants to undergo the hypnosis.
I am always approaching people from a positive angle and believe in their unlimited possibilities of growth. If a client agrees to hypnotherapy as part of the coaching process, I make use of it. Under hypnosis it is easier to make contact with your subconscious than in daily life, because the rational conscious hinders that. By making contact with your subconscious feelings and ideas you get (more) insight into your own needs and possibilities. Hypnotherapy treatment can help with a.o., unlearning unwanted behavior, emotional outbursts, emotional imbalances, gaining insight into one’s own possibilities, dealing with nervousness and tension, overcoming fears and phobias, stress and burnout and prevention thereof, reducing physical pain, strengthening or supporting a healing process, processing trauma.
Our main learning goes through our subconscious. In that subconcious state that is reached by hypnosis, we accept new, positive supporting skills that lie within ourselves and we install them more easily.
I also have a second degree in Reiki and if desired so by my client, I use this also in my coaching. One could say that Reiki stands for the universal life-energy. Life energy flows through every person. This current can, for example, be blocked by stress, which can cause illnesses or problems. A Reiki treatment allows these blockages to be released, allowing the energy to flow freely again, supporting the healing process.
I have the gift of seeing and feeling energy. At a very young age I became aware of this gift. When I was younger, it sometimes frightened me. Now I embrace it and am grateful. Using Reiki, the universal positive healing life-energy, is therefore so natural for me.
With Reiki you do not use your own energy, but you use the universal positive healing life-energy. In essence, I only channel the universal positive healing life energy through, and therewith assist in releasing blockages, allowing the energy to flow freely again, supporting the healing process. The beauty is, that it is a process whereby, the energy goes where it is needed in the body.
Can you expand a little more on this gift you have?
Well, I can, for example lay my hands on your head, neck and shoulders or hold my hands above these areas without even touching you, and channel positive healing energy in and uplift your energy and release blocked emotions and/or release physical pain such as a headache. What no longer serves you, you release, and what you need fills you and lifts you up. That is the beauty and sheer magic of our body. Our body is made of so many incredible cells, and they know best what needs to be strengthened and what needs to be released.
Basically, we are so conditioned to use our left brain, I see it with children.
Like how often do we ask children: “How do you feel?”
We ask instead: “What do you think or why have you done ….this or that…?” This sole way of asking, makes you using your left brain. The question itself directs you into thinking.
I consioucly first ask my daugther: “How did your heart feel when you did this?” when she has done something. And then afterwards ask her and “what did you think when doing this?”.
And then, for example when she has done something she should not have done, she answers: “My heart felt a little sad, but I still wanted to do it because I wanted it my way and now my heart is very sad”. In a playful way I then tell her stories how her heart and mind can work together and how to listen to both so you feel good inside. This is a different way doing things, as we are not only appealing to her mind, but also appeal to her body and soul.
If we combine mind, soul and body, connect and align them, we enable ourselves to reach so much higher levels of our potential and development. There are so many things we think that are impossible, and that are possible when we connect and align. As I, by instinct, connect to my inner self, I can do things, I thought were never possible. Some time ago I was in great physical pain. If I’d only use my mind, I would pass out. I connected and aligned and surpassed the pain. If we look at situations from the positive perspective, from the perspective that all is possible, we come to solutions. And if on top of that, we stand together and align, we can do so much more, instead of giving up. We all can do this!
What was in defining moment in your life?
A very defining moment was in 2017. I had a health issue and against the advice of the doctors I choose not do a recommended surgery.
I had severe endometriosis and was strongly recomended to undergo surgery. I chose not to. I know that our body has an inner capacity to heal. I am spiritual, I have faith in GOD and I believed in my own capabilities and took the necessary steps and actions. After about 1 year and 2 months I again underwent medical examinations in Holland. The doctors were amazed how a major part of the endometriosis was gone while I had not undergone surgery. Wondering how that was possible. It hasn’t completely been cured, but it has diminished substantially. This is an incredible blessing. The beauty of this all is, that I sincerely believe that all of us can do this. We all have the abbility to heal, by connecting and aligning our body-mind-soul. Adding to this, doing things such as meditation, exercise, eating the food that is right for you etc…
It requires commitment and action. Sometimes our remaining path here on earth is too short, but walking the path is already healing in itself.
When I coach someone, I help dust of things, I help them to communicate effectively with themselves and others, assisting them to stand back into their strength. I walk besides them aimed to let them do it themselves, reconnecting with their authentic self and fully embracing that, enabling to authentically connect with other people. In a way I do this also with my legal work and in my training courses, it is also about effectively communicating just like coaching. With regard to the legal work that I do, I consciously chose not to conduct legal proceedings anymore. I give legal advice and give (legal) assistance so that people themselves come to a solution together. I always say it is possible to reach solutions without going to court. It just requires the people to look at the issues at hand from a different angle. I consider it to be my big task to guide my clients to look at the issues at hand differently and seek solutions. This approach in the end costs less money, less energy and less time, which ultimately is the wise thing to do.
It makes no difference wheather I coach clients to reach their full potential on a personal level, or that I coach clients to reach their full potential in their professional field or in their business. It is always about communicating effectively and getting to the core.
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be whom you are right now?
Because everybody is magnificent and gifted, I want everybody to see the magic within themselves and use their gifts. My motivation is to enable people to authenticly connect and allign with themselves, with whom they really are and all they can do, using their own gifts to do this.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
Peeling of the layers that limit me to reach my full potential, are my biggest challenges.
In 2015 when I started my own company, I really started my journey of peeling of the layers that limit my full potential. People at first still saw me as a lawyer and legal advisor but more and more they saw my coaching talents, while I was still neglecting my coaching talents in a way as I at that time did not dare to use my talents fully. This made me feel confused. The great thing is that the same feeling of confusion made me realize I still had to heal myself from certain inner emotions that were blocking me, originating from certain imbalances. I needed to connect to myself deeper, completely.
I then started asking myself if I wanted to continue to rush instead of really connecting with my BIG Why? From that moment on, I dared to turn it around and started doing things really for myself. I came to what is basically my passion. That is being a coach and trainer, thereby using NLP as main tool together with hypnotherapy and energy healing. Since 2017 I am standing fully in my coaching practice and continue growing in that strenght of me.
I am now in 2020 truely connected with myself. I now dare to say “While I am a good legal and business advisor, I am even a better coach and trainer. I have it in me.”
It took me time to peel of my own limiting believes, it took courage and action to dare to look deeper into myself and I am not done yet. It is a wonderful continious journey!
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemma’s show up? How does that work for you?
Ow, absolutely yes, I do use my inner voice. By being quiet, in silence, focused within myself. By doing this I hear my own inner voice. Also by connecting with nature. I go outside and walk with my bare feet on the sand or grass. I stand outside and feel the sun heating up my skin, feel the wind caressing my skin, listen to the sounds of nature. When I am in countries where it is cold outside, I just put my hands against a tree or hold the leaves of a plant and just be quiet and in deep silence.
How are you trying also to keep up with your personal knowledge and skills levels?
Following courses and training, going to lectures. Communicating and talking with other coaches, and also people that have totally different skills. Doing all this, locally and internationally. I travel abroad to meet with different kinds of people. By doing this I invest in myself.
What are your strengths?
My positivism, it is unstoppable My self-love is unconditionally, which enables me to stay in contact with my inner self and the energy of Love & Light within me to which I am truly connected. Being self-critical, which enables continuous growth
Do you have hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
I love listening to all kinds of musical genres, especially classical and jazz. I love to dance and I also love to read. Nowdays I need reading glasses to read.
If you as Maureen would meet a stranger in the bus (let say in Holland or the US) and they would ask you to introduce yourself what would you answer?
I am Maureen Merite, I am an inspirational speaker and I coach. I see magic in people. Everybody is magnificent and gifted. I assist people to acces their magic, to communicate efficiently, authenticly connect and allign with their inner selves, with all they can do and be, using their own gifts to do this.
How would you describe Maureen in one word or one sentence?
Incredibly positive, stands for love and light, a natural with coaching.
Whom are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
It would still be my parents.
During all of my career, my dad, whom is now a retired judge, and my mom. Both of them taught me to use my brain, always remain connected with my inner self, to listen to my inner voice, do my best becoming the best I can be. I was allowed to fail, learning the lessons. I am now sharing with many people, so that they can stand up for themself and be their best self.
Where do you want to be 15 years from now?
I will be travelling the world and inspiring people, to authenticly connect with themselves to authenticly connect with others. That is what I envision and that is what I am going to make happen. I will assist people to love themselves without being selfish and take care of others.
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
I have inspired them to connect with their authentic selves and their gifts.
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao?
I put my attention to what is going right and how I can help improve things by taking action. If I know what is going wrong, I don’t have to repeat that over and over again. I put my attention on what is going right to make that bigger. Some say that I live in cloud 9, while I say I focus on the positive and just try making things better with the actions I take. I rather reach out to just one other person, connect and grow, instead of waiting until I think I have reached a hundred people before I take actions. I am optimistic about the future of Curaçao, because we have a lot of other people in Curaçao, having this same mindset as I have, focusing on the positive and taking action to make things better.
One of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao
Maureen as a business owner, is a passionate, positive coach, trainer and legal advisor, with excellent communication skills. Challenges experienced during her life, has proven to herself and her loved ones, a resilience that is extra ordinary. By learning to use a combination of her mind, body and soul, connecting and aligning them, has enabled her to reach so much higher levels of her potential and personal healing. As a natural gifted coach and energy worker, after working for 18 years as a lawyer/legal advisor, she is now dedicating most of her time into coaching and training of people, which is her true calling. After having followed a myriad of deliberately selected courses like NLP, Hypnotherapy and Reiki, she is able to present and use, different tools and techniques to inspire her clients and assist them into connecting to their incredible potential, either it be on a personal level, professional or in business. We sincerely believe that as a coach and trainer, Maureen will play an increasingly important role in Curaçao, enabling others to become their best versions. As a representative of the Business sector we definitely consider her one of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao.