Perception as a bridge to (self)reflection

“The eyes are the mirror of the soul and reflect everything that seems to be hidden and like a mirror they also reflect the person looking into them. – Paul Coelho

Hello reader,




Not long back from my coachingstrip to mysterious Senegal.
On 7 November, I was giving another training in Brussels until I suddenly got a phone call that I had to leave on the flight on 08 November, a day earlier, due to strikes in Belgium. Just switching gears in my mindset and informing my client for the 08 November training to move this training to a later date.

One minute you are standing with one foot in a company building and less than 24 later hours I was overcome by blissful African, warm smells as the plane doors opened in Dakar. After a stopover in Banjul and shared conversations with a Senegalese man next to me as a fellow traveller. Talking with him about the goal why he went to Senegal. Reading a book in peacefull area. Last but not least, watching the new movie of Top Gun. What a feeling, flying and watching that movie gave me the meaning of the law of vibration. How much I was looking forward to visit Senegal. Embracing the unknown and my curiosity was so big.  Flashbacks of my childhood years in the homeland of Algeria sucked me in like a fine homecoming. I really needed this now. Going back to the base where everything started too, and yes, this is in Africa. Sometimes you need to go to the other side of the world to see, feel, hear, taste, smell how gratefull we are in the smallest things in life.

The taxi drivers Ouze and Iba with their big smiles were waiting for us and in 2 groups we were warmly received at our overnight stop in Saly, after a drive of one hour.
Salamanders walked over the wall, beetles sang their song in various melodies. Sleeping under a mosquito net and being woken by the blissful chanting of the village mosque. The sun in its power and warmth played every particle of my body. Still, my body had to adjust to this warmth for a while. But very soon I had the feeling of home sweet home.

Time to explore the neighbourhood.
Sandy roads, horse and cart, colourful boats, locals along the streets talking to each other. My first impression was clearly. This is a mans world.
With about two people, we walked down the sea line under the burning sun, surrounded by street dogs.
Until at one point my sandal came loose and I could only continue with one foot. The sand was so hot and my mindset was focused on walking on fire. If Africans can walk barefoot, so can we. Easier said than done. And yes, I gave up until I came across the first shoemaker in the village. I was focused on a new pair of sandals and considering I am a size 42. He was going to design the sandals in leather. I focused on throwing away my first pair of sandals until the shoemaker articulated, “No, I will repair your sandals and design a new pair.” What a win-win.

How much do these sandals cost? CFA 15,000 – Okay, deal. Just give me an advance that I can provide materials to make these sandals, asked the shoemaker. In confidence, he got CFA 10,000. The next day around 7 pm, I was able to collect my beautiful sandals. I gave him another CFA 10,000 and he told me that half of his pledge had been paid off for this month. Lets’s count: CFA 20,000 =€35. Then I realised very well how people live or survive there and the perception of currency is so different. Gratefully, I now had 2 pairs of sandals and he looked so out of place when I came to pick up my sandals. If you are happy, so am I, he said. We drank a cup tea and suddenly I was surrounded by 4 men and we talked about their village and the way they live in Saly. Unique and yes, completely handmade in hot red, I walk here despite the cold temperatures in Belgium on my red Senegalese leather sandals. The less they have the more they give.

Be continued….


‘If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’ – Wayne Dyer

More in-depth individual or team coaching?
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Warm Regards,

Oiheba Bensaâd



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