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Blue Ocean Life Nation Interview Series: Sophie van het Erve

by Michael Coughlin |

Sophie van het Erve is a co-founder of The 1 Reset, a transformational life coach, certified by the International Coaching Federation, the Institute for Professional Excellence (iPEC), and a Master Practitioner for the Energy Leadership Index assessment. Prior to founding The 1 Reset, Sophie spent ten years in the corporate world working for sales teams at Oracle and Google. After finishing her Master's degree in International Business at the University of Maastricht, she located to Dublin, Ireland, after which she packed up once again to settle in San Francisco, U.S.A. Currently, she calls Lisbon, Portugal her home. With The 1 Reset, her focus is to provide resets for mind, body and spirit through coaching, retreats, yoga and massage.  

Sophie van het Erve Blue Ocean Life Interview

Thank you for sharing your story with us. What is your professional background? How did you end up with this career?

My background is in business - sales more specifically. I studied International Business, with a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing. After graduation, I hopped on a plane to Ireland and started working for Oracle, in their sales organization. I made the move to Google a few years later, to integrate my marketing background into my sales career, and focus more on long-term relationships through a dedicated account role. 

It was also at Google where I really started to develop my coaching passion by setting up new programs, and studied to become certified myself. In 2021, I took a leap of faith, said goodbye to my corporate career, and went full in on my coaching business - together with a partner. 

We founded The 1 Reset in March 2021, with the mission to bring more Joy into the world. We provide “resets” - a moment to press pause, so you can decide how you want to continue. We work on a 1:1 basis with clients, in small group coaching series over a period of 5 weeks (virtually), or during in-person retreats all over the world. 

We also work with companies and organizations. Especially now, in this time of returning to office, we see how a “reset” can help teams find their place and identity again.

How did you begin your remote work journey? Where do you see yourself in the next year? What tips do you have for others who are working remotely?

Well, my remote work journey did not start by choice: the COVID-19 pandemic forced the work from home lifestyle that I have now fully adopted and embraced. I had to make many changes in between to make it work for me though. Now, I can honestly say that I enjoy it, even love it! That was not necessarily the case at the start of my work from home journey. 

The biggest change of course was the founding of my own company, together with my wonderful coaching partner Jomar. I loved living in San Francisco, but the pandemic made it very clear to me that I wanted to be closer to my family in Europe. And as our coaching business can be conducted virtually anywhere, I decided to also relocate - I am now settled in Lisbon, Portugal. 

In the next year I see myself here! I truly love living here - the city has been very welcoming to me, I love the weather, the food, the drinks, the way of life. The beach is a mere train-ride away, and nature is all around me. 
The luxury of having a dedicated room for all ‘work’ related activities has been a game-changer for me. By closing the door to that room, I can truly disconnect. By opening it, I step into my own little space that is set-up to work for me. It’s my office. It’s my yoga shala. It’s my massage center. It’s my meditation space.This room brings me joy, and reminds me daily of how great of a choice it has been to take that leap of faith. 

What is your self-care routine and how do you find time to integrate it into your daily life?

I start my day with a gratitude journal (the 5 minute journal), and set an intention and/or affirmation for the day. I dry brush before my shower, which has become a great little ritual as well. It only takes a few minutes, and reminds myself to take not only care of my mind, but of my body as well. 

I will always find a moment for a hot, steaming cup of tea, ideally first thing in the morning. A cup of tea to me is really like a warm hug. There is very little in this world that a cup of tea cannot provide comfort for. It is also a great way to find a moment of stillness, and just to ‘reset’ when needed, or start the day with a calm outlook.

Putting yourself first is important to your overall wellness. Given this, what are your best holistic wellness tips?

Meditation, movement and enjoyment of nature take the top 3 spots on my list! 

It took me a while to find a meditation practice that I felt confident and comfortable with. For the longest time I felt like meditation was something I “should” be doing, but could not quite get it into my routine on a regular, consistent basis. When I found Transcendental Meditation, it finally clicked for me, and now it has truly become a consistent, regular and much-relied upon practice for me. 

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Yoga and hiking or just walking through the city are my main sources of movement, and I have had periods where I couldn’t do any of that due to injuries, and it was so much harder on my mental health than I could have predicted. I did not realize how much I rely on walking in the outdoor air, breathing fresh air, clearing out my mind. Yoga does the exact same thing for me, plus it enhances my mindfulness practice of course. 

And nature - nature is my church if you will. When deciding where in Europe I wanted to live, one criteria was abundantly clear: water. I always have lived in close proximity to a large body of water; it’s where I go to clear my head, to find my calm, to turn to nature and to soak it in (figuratively). Lisbon is perfectly placed: right on the water, and it has many beautiful parks with even more beautiful, old, wonderful trees that really have me in awe everytime I look at them. Nothing to put things into perspective than looking at an ancient tree that withstood the test of time, and to see the water flowing regardless of what is going on in the world. Nature stops for nothing, for no one. 

What was the toughest challenge you faced during your career?

After about a year after I relocated to San Francisco for work, the team went through a reorganization, which effectively meant that we had a choice: leave the company, or find a new role within the next few weeks. I really felt like I had a good grip on the role, I found my ‘groove’ and was on the right track for advancement - and all that was brought to an abrupt halt with this change. 

As my visa to stay in the US was tied to my employment with the company, on top of the shock of ‘losing’ our roles, I had to deal with the added pressure of finding something within the company in a short time period to make sure I could stay in the country. And as if that was not enough to deal with, my credit card details were stolen, and I had to make sure I was getting all that money back. To finish the trifecta of bad-luck, I partially tore my ACL. I quickly learned that physical pain is very draining energy-wise. As I mentioned earlier, walking is such a big part of my mental health, and in a very unsettling time in which I needed to clear my head and find moments of calm, I could not rely on my ‘proven’ methods of self-care. 

Now I can laugh about that small moment in my history when everything seemed to be going wrong. But going through it was hard. I can honestly say that ultimately, it all brought me good things and lessons for life (although I could have done without the hassle of credit card debt), and it brought me exactly where I needed to be, but it’s hard to see that when you’re right in it. 

How did you get through that period? What advice for people dealing with similar difficulties? 

I really felt that I was thrown off my course, and was trying to get back into the midst of that current that was pushing me forward very comfortably up to that moment in time. It truly is exhausting. So first of all, allowing myself to just be, and feel bad about it and absorb the shock was needed, so I could catch my breath.

I see myself as very independent, I’m used to doing things alone and by myself. However, what got me through this period was other people. I had to lean in, and open up. That’s easier with friends and family, but still difficult so it took effort. It was even more difficult - at least to me - to do that at work with colleagues, but I did it. After the shock of the initial news wore off, I set up so many coffee-chats with anyone and everyone I could think of. People are so willing to help - but often they just don’t know that you are in need of it if you don’t let them know. You have to ask.

I think this period made me a little bit bolder in asking for what I need, and that’s a skill I still benefit from today (yet continue to have to practice, as it does not come naturally to me).

Mental health and feeling good are crucial to maximizing performance. How do you prioritize your mental health?

Through meditation and yoga, I’ve really learned to listen to my body. Most of the time I can translate it - but of course, this is a lifelong journey, so I’m still learning and don’t always get it right. 

I now have more freedom than previously: I can decide each morning, after my cup of tea and that moment of reflection, what has to be done today, and what I want to do that day, and whether I’m up for it, and adjust my schedule accordingly. 

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Sometimes that means that I start my day with an hour walk outside while listening to a podcast, so that I can start working productively after that. Sometimes it means I set an alarm so I remind myself to take breaks, as I can get so immersed in what I’m doing. 

Ultimately, it’s about tuning in, and learning when it serves me better to give in and and change my plans altogether, or to switch things around so I change my perspective or mood and I can ‘push’ through with my original plans. 

Before the pandemic hit, you may have worked in an office or corporate setting, but what do you foresee happening now? How do you see companies allowing employees to work post-pandemic?

I did work in an office, and I actually liked it! At the start of the pandemic, I really missed that social interaction, the coffee chats, the banter. But, I think I was part of a small minority who felt that way. The overall feeling I got was that everyone seemed to be happier with the remote work set-up, with the freedom to choose how they’d spend their commute time, where they’d live, and how much more time they could spend with loved ones. So, I hope that companies will make a true effort to listen to their employees, listen to the pain-points, listen to what the benefits of this freedom can bring the company in the long run, and that more hybrid or individualized options become available.

If you could have lunch with one person in the world, who would it be and why?

I have been reading a lot about Helen Keller lately, and I would love to have lunch with her, and just soak in her wisdom and zest for life. Reading her essay on Optimism, knowing she was both deaf and blind is just mind blowing to me: she showed such determination, courage and grace in what would have felled many others dealt the same extremely unlucky hand. 

If you could inspire a movement, what would it be and why?

To live in Joy! 

The mission of our company is to create a community of like minded people who choose to live in joy. Who expand their awareness of who they are, who explore their passions and what drives them, and who fully embrace life - the ups, the downs, and anything in between. I truly believe that everyone has this capacity to live more fully, more present, and more joyful, and with that, I truly believe we can make a difference, and impact ourselves, our community, and our world. And we personally, our communities and our world do need, and deserve, the absolute best we can give.

Please list your social media handles so we can tag you.

Instagram: @the1reset

Facebook: @the1reset

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/svanheterve/

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