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Putting fear in the backseat

Putting fear in the backseat

Putting fear in the backseat

Yasmin De Giorgio’s paths of courage

One of the people I’m lucky to call my friends, Yasmin De Giorgio founder and CEO of The Grassy Hopper and Theobroma Cacao Collective, is a person who seems to have endless fountains of courage. Armed with an ambitious vision of a business that transforms clients, employees and the local environment through healthy, sustainable, locally-sourced food and unshakeable values, she has stepped up from her first vegetarian food truck to now also run three food outlets with a fourth opening soon. I sat down with her at the Gzira restaurant to pick her brains about her relationship with courage.

 

So, Yasmin, what is courage for you?

Courage is the ability to do something even though it scares you. Rather than seeing it as the absence of fear, I really identify with the way Elizabeth Gilbert talks about it,

“is fear in the driving seat or is he at the back?”

Courage is not letting fear drive.

When are you the most and the least courageous?

I’m the least courageous when I feel pressure to deliver a particular outcome, especially a financial one. In business, financial pressure is what makes me the least courageous.

On the other hand, I’m at my most courageous when I feel in contact with the bigger vision. I feel very inspired by that. It’s a universal vision, the same one that each person with a capacity for deep exploration ends up encountering. It all comes out in love. When you have the capacity to feel this deeply, your own pain, stress and possibility of failure pale in comparison with this awesomeness.

My meditation teacher Prahbu Darmayasa said something that I feel explains this really well,

“This so needs to happen that I’m not even going to wait for myself to be ready or even myself to be the right person to do it”.

There’s this underlying feeling that even if I had to go bankrupt, I’d have been working towards manifesting a vision I really believe in. I would die happy knowing I’m working towards that.

 

The staff at The Grassy Hopper in Gzira drinking green smoothies
The Grassy Hopper has managed to infuse feel-good into the staff, the design and of course the food at all of their outlets.

 

What do you do when you feel that courage is failing you?

I’ve learnt that this means I’m in my ego state, that there’s something blocking my connection with the greater good. So I try to figure out what that is. It’s always a fear of some sort. I try to observe myself although sometimes that is a little confusing, especially if I’m not feeling at my best.

I go to the sea, to nature, I do the things that connect me to things bigger than myself and only then can I see what ‘s blocking me. Sometimes even though I know what’s causing it, that state can take a while. The more times I go through this, the more patient I become with myself. I know I will come out of it eventually and allow it to run its course. I try not to take major decisions until it’s over.

 

Yasmin De Giorgio surfing
When not busy hopping, Yasmin loves to flow with the waves. Photo by Xav Neg.

 

What does your decision process look like?

Usually there is a bit of flipping between the non-courageous and the courageous sides of me where each one takes centre stage for a while. I always take time to go beyond whatever mood I’m in at that moment. A big decision is central to your journey and I would never want that to be the result of transient feelings. To get to the stage where I am in connection with the big vision I might need to sit and be for a while. That can take some time.

It’s usually a case of being aware of the differences between how the decision will affect me personally vs how it sits within the greater vision. Sometimes my doubts are based on my reluctance to take on more responsibility, possibly more stress. I firmly believe that whatever needs to happen will happen, we just decide whether to be the channel for that or whether to stick to our personal comfort zones.

Yasmin was recently named as one of Europe’s top 100 female start-uppers by Hundert magazine. This publication includes priceless advice from each of them.

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