About Julia von Flotow

JuliavonFlotowMy Purpose

My passion lies in helping people live authentic, happy, empowered lives that give expression to their highest values, make a positive contribution to the world and enjoy sustainable success. Today, after a successful 25 year career as a cultural executive, event planner, festival and conference producer and consultant, I like to work with independent professionals, creative entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them build a culture of success and realize their creative potential.
 

prism.jpgEarly Years: Creative Exploration

When I was a child I wanted to be a doctor. I had a strong interest in healing every creature, recognizing the value of ritual and celebration to create a sense peace and harmony.

My early plans were dashed when in high-school a wildly creative and inspiring theatre group came to town and compelled me on a path of self discovery. I joined the theatre club and started performing on the high-school stage.  At age 17 I won the lead role in a Community College play and enrolled in the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Arts.

Deeply engaged in actor training, I enjoyed performing in plays, and joined a theatre company engaged in experimental theatre where the actor is seen as creative artist rather than interpreting characters, written by someone else.

The Actors Lab was an ensemble theatre troupe. We created theatre performances by doing ‘studies’ where an actor, alone or together with others, in touch with their primary drives, uncovers patterns of movement and behaviour, allowing emotion to guide their interactions. The results of these studies were woven together to create unique theatre performances. For me, in retrospect, it was a journey of self exploration and discovery.

love.in.actionEarly Adult: Creative Leadership

Later, as I was raising my own family, I taught modern dancers to move freely, without having to look in the mirror, by learning to trust and be guided by their inner impulses. I was also teaching creative movement for fitness to the public to free the body in a way that created a sense of wellness and joy.

I became Administrative and Executive Director for a Center for Puppetry Arts, creating programming, organizing tours, designing exhibits and went on to play on the artistic side, directing, performing and touring with a professional puppetry company.  Always balancing between creative visioning and strategic planning, seeing what we wanted to create, creating the conditions for it, and then actually realizing our vision helped me recognize how to balance structure and creativity.

The question for me was: When do you do what?
Creating the conditions for the artistic process
and being the artist
are two distinct yet interrelated roles

As Executive Director of the PuppetMuseum, I was good at marketing, creating a demand, filling the shows, and seeing the incredible possibility of puppetry. Inspired by the possibilities, I went to France and discovered how Festivals and celebrations had been incredible catalysts for the development of an art form, and realized celebration as a strategy for almost anything.

So I began to produce festivals of all kinds, especially arts festivals using puppets, art, music and dance to bring awareness to environmental and social issues. This led to the creation of the Festive Earth Society, a not for profit organization I founded bringing artists and scientists together with the community on environmental issues through celebration, anchored in place, that recognized the health of rivers as an indicator of the health and sustainability of the community through which it flows.

gaia.i.love.uHow can we connect with place and grow community?

We created festivals, events, eco education talks, and action campaigns; developed performances engaging schools, hundreds of artists and organizations to participate, garnering sponsors and public support for Don River restoration.

5 years into this all consuming eco-action artistic mobilization campaign, I woke up in the hospital on the morning of 9/11/2001 (coincidentally the same day of the attack on the twin towers in New York) having crashed with an auto-immune crisis. I had excrutiating systemic swelling and pain and couldn’t move. Though the doctors had no clue what was wrong with me, I knew it had to do with stress, and having allowed myself to become totally overextended. It took me 18 months to recover.

What was the cause? FEAR and DOUBT

The initiative to create the organization looked good from the outside. It was all about celebration on the outside but at the core it was about fear for the future. The fear came when I was pregnant with my first born when I had a vision

of the horrors my children will face in their lifetime if we don’t stop destroying the environment. I wasn’t aware that underneath the desire to get people together through celebration and connected to place was built on top of this underlying fear.

SummerSolstice,sunflowerAcceptance, Transformation and Empowerment

I discovered then that the environmental crisis is a spiritual crisis that is reflected in our relationship to ourselves. I saw how the environmental crisis happening in my body was a result of the spiritual crisis in my heart. And I was humbled. I was out of balance, and realized I had to heal myself.

  • I couldn’t relax.
  • I felt I had to work my body hard to experience myself
  • I actually preferred to be with my work than with my family
  • I was totally out of balance
  • I sold myself a vision that wasn’t true
  • I was like an actor who had lost herself in a character
  • I felt trapped in a treadmill of my own creation
  • I wanted to come back into my heart

Starting in 2002 I trained in a number of energy healing modalities including Reiki, Therapeutic Touch and Zenith Omega discovering and applying whatever I could do to help myself. Professionally, I continued to produce festivals and events – an International Arts Festival in 2004, an International Camp for 3,000 girls and women for Girl Guides of Canada in 2006, the 2008 Women’s Health Forum and Expo and a 2009 Conference on Women and Mental Health in the Workplace for Women’s College Hospital. In 2007, I trained to become a certified professional life coach, began teaching Therapeutic Touch in 2009, and launched the Kaizen Leadership Institute in January 2012.

Connect With Me

Call Julia von Flotow at (416) 686-6463 or use our Contact Form to connect with us.