Palma was once a lawyer and board-level headhunter before she embarked on a career as mindful executive coach and co-founded Profuse29. Profuse29 introduces mindfulness and mindful leadership to organisations and individuals. Palma is the author of The Authority Guide To Mindful Leadership (release date April 2017). Her clients include CEOs, creatives, philanthropists, global multinationals and start-ups. A sought-after public speaker, she regularly speaks about the link between mindfulness and creativity, mindful working, mindful leadership and mindful living and has recently been hosted by the London School of Economics, The Fiorucci Art Trust, Second Home, The Hoxton Hotels, The Soho House Group and Jamie Oliver ́s Big Feastival.
Palma offers meditation as a way to hack your neurobiology and increase self-awareness, which is the first step to self-mastery. She teaches with passion, sensitivity and insight, empowering her clients to live with more presence, inner peace, gratitude and love for life.
Why meditation became my passion?
"I was interested in philosophy, psychology and contemplative sciences from an early age. Initially that was more of an intellectual exercise. I first got in contact with meditation at the end of a yoga class in 1994. Like most people I fell asleep during the meditation, as I was just so exhausted from attending law school during the day and working part-time in a blue-chip strategy-consulting firm in the evenings.
However, something resonated with me and from that moment I knew that I would go much deeper into meditation at some later stage in my life. That time came when I moved to Hong Kong in 2006 and subsequently started practicing yoga and meditation on a daily basis. The first time I noticed, that I behaved somewhat differently to my colleagues was after the financial crisis. I was just promoted to junior partner in a global executive search firm and had my first revenue responsibility. The external environment was uncertain, very volatile and there was pressure to bring in revenue while our firm was, at the same time, going through redundancy rounds. Clients were hesitant in making new hires and even if they had verbally agreed on signing a contract it often took weeks if not months for them to receive the internal approval. During this time I noticed that I remained very calm despite juggling a hectic global 24/7 schedule with revenue pressure and tons of uncertainty. I was able to put my head down and focus on the work that had to be done instead of worrying about the future or getting worked up about contracts that did not materialise. I was able to maintain equanimity and balance.
One morning after a meditation class, in which I had experimented with courage and trust, I was sitting in my office, overlooking Pacific Place in Hong Kong, when I had a “light-bulb” moment. It was crystal clear to me that the experiential learning when I was sitting in meditation was closing the gap between intellectually knowing something and wanting to change and actually experiencing it in my body and mind and transforming my way of being. I was inspired to create a business that combines coaching and meditative wisdom and techniques to empower CEOs, founders, emerging leaders and high potentials to access their full potential even or particularly when under pressure. I subsequently did all the necessary trainings including a two-year yoga and meditation teacher training (while I was still working as a headhunter), a mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher training, courses in positive psychology and neuroscience and underwent a professional training as a coach.
Over the past three years I have introduced meditation to start-ups, global multinationals, creative businesses and the government. In addition, I have used mindfulness and meditation to help C-Suite individuals and start-up founders to access more of their leadership potential and creative genius.
On a personal level, the practice has given me more than I could have ever bargained for. While I was always quite a happy and optimistic person, there used to be a small background anxiety of something missing, of not being enough. It is through the dedicated practice of meditation and the methods from positive psychology that today the background anxiety is gone and replaced by a sense of fundamental wholeness, an inner peace that is always there in the foreground or at least the background, no matter what happens."