I am Elena and I Co-Founded LEA Growing People with my husband Luca. Together, we handpicked a team of qualified coaches and mentors who help founders, C-suite executives, parents, and couples achieve their goals and get empowered to take action.
The team not only helps LEA’s clients reach new heights, they have also actively helped me and my husband to get to where WE currently are.
I would like to introduce you to our story with the intent of sharing how we discover that, even in the most difficult circumstances, all the resources we need are already inside us and there is a way to release them regardless of the challenges we are facing.
Me and Luca are partners in love and adventures, investing in our marriage and growing our family and ourselves individually.
We are parents of 2: Gabriele of 10 years old, our crazy gifted genius, and Arianna 7 years old, our tibetian monk incarnated in a little girl.
We are leaders: inspiring our teams and putting our strengths in the service of their strengths.
We are futuristic dreamers: believing that it is possible to create a united community of human beings living together in fulfillment, abundance, freedom and respect of others and of nature.
What stands before me today
- I am confident, full of life and energy
- HR recruitment consultant for 3 years in TETRA PAK, a MNC in the packaging industry
- Entrepreneur for 13 years and founder of 3 organisations: Le Pleiadi, Music Together Sol Mi Do and LEA Growing People
- My greatest successes: my marriage and the 2 natural deliveries of Arianna and Gabry with no painkillers and no doctors, just my midwife and my husband.
What stands before Luca today
- He is resilient, full of courage and determination
- Manager and Internal executive and team Coach at Google
- Previously a Leader at HP and CISCO, working and having lived in 4 countries, leading multicultural teams
- His Greatest Success: his family, his marriage, powerful relationships with friends and his colleagues, his career.
However it hasn’t always been like this, the journey for success was not easy.
OUR LIMITING BELIEFS
Wear your mask, and play your role!
I grew up in a challenging family environment where everyday was a new fight, a new battle against the system and against each other.
My parents, 2 entrepreneurs trying to run a business together, who failed on the intent and split up when I was five.
Having been exposed to my parent’s version of life, I built up the story and belief that working meant sacrifice and suffering and that, along with making money, would push people apart and generate conflict, obliging people “to wear a mask” and play a role to please others without being allowed to be their authentic selves.
Working meant not trusting anyone except for yourself because you will always be left alone and nobody cares about you.
Work is a battle where only the strong can win and all the others are losers.
I grew up with this idea and when I started working I kept playing my game: smiling and performing but I still was feeling deeply alone and abandoned and mis aligned with myself.
Would you be enough for this task?
On one of these days of fake happiness, I decided to go skiing and connect with nature and my body. BUT…I lost control while skiing and I badly injured my knee…being a professional dancer, this meant the end of my career.
I came back home destroyed at the idea that despite rehabilitation and surgery nothing will go back to normality. That same day, I discovered my grandpa, who raised me and who I had been living with since I was 18, was diagnosed with stage IV cancer.
I was slowly recovering and he was quickly fading away.
Two days before my grandpa died he called me and my husband to his bedside and asked us to promise we would have children to fill the gap in my Grandma’s life.
Since I was 13 I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome) and at 26 with endometriosis, so knowing this would take time, we said YES.
I came back to work, but after 6 months of sick leave, it was very hard to find my space, in addition to that, my colleagues started bullying me.
Luckily and by a miracle, I fell pregnant a month later and when Gabriele, my first son, arrived, I felt my grandfather could rest in peace.
The first time I looked at Gabriele I felt he was different, he seemed much wiser and awake then every other child I had been exposed to.
I was so scared! Would I be enough for this task?
Which future could I give him when I hadn’t even found my place in the world? How could I leave him and come back to work in a place where I didn’t feel welcome and useful, where I do not feel like myself?
Have you ever been scared to do a new task that you haven’t been trained for?
I kept thinking, how could I be a good parent when I never had a healthy parent role model to refer to.
I was very weak, he was a very picky eater, sleeper & full of energy and I found myself falling into post-natal depression.
Family or career? You cannot have both!
When he was born, as I said, I knew he was different however it was only when he turned 11 months old that I began to realise how truly different he was. I noticed that he was already running, never falling, talking and using words that only much older kids use. On the other hand, he couldn’t sit still and follow instructions and would only interact with adults, rarely with peers.
Having worked with children for 8 years as a babysitter, a Scout Leader and a Music Together teacher, I shared my observations with my in-laws and husband. Unfortunately, no-one trusted me and instead blamed me and my educational style. This led to my depression getting even worse and lasting more than expected; I felt so judged and stopped sharing my feelings with anybody.
I was disgusted with myself, I felt rejected and wrong, a mistake and a failure. I was emotionally unstable and felt like I was walking on an electric wire, being shocked with every step I was taking. I felt exhausted and drained and of course completely alone.
Who would have followed my madness?
When I was looking around I felt nobody could understand me and they were continuing their life careless of my tragedy.
I started to fill up my heart with anger, and loneliness and my son was impacted by me.
It became a nightmare.
At this stage I realised it was impossible for me to come back to my previous work: my performances would have never been optimal, I would have spent too much time away from my son, I would have felt even more judged and wrong.
Luca sustained me in this choice, so I decided to follow a dream and open a non-profit Organization in association with 2 amazing women.
“Le Pleiadi” was born, aimed to diffuse, facilitate and create a community of people and families driven by personal development, art and sustainability.
You are different, you cannot fit in
Finally we decided to send Gabriele to school at 27 months, it could have been a big relief, BUT… soon the teachers and the peers realized how different he was from others. Even though he was already fluently speaking and using conditional verbs and a vocabulary of a 5 years old child, he was demanding a lot of attention when it came down to behavior and social interactions and the teacher started to complain.
We ended up changing 5 schools in 2 years: in the first Kindergarten, they slapped and threatened him; in the second they offered us money to go; in the third all the other families didn’t want their kids to be in class with him so they removed their children and the class shut and in the fourth, they refused to welcome the Team of “Lab Talento” of the Psychology Department of Pavia University, the-one-and-only entity in Italy that protects the rights of gifted children, which would have assisted us and the school to put into practice some strategies to include Gabriele in the classroom interactions and learnings.
I was devastated, I couldn’t work as I wanted and could not commit to any responsibility as Gabry was home from school every 3 months. I lost my community and the relationship with my husband was barely surviving. I was so angry with Gabry that one day, and I am not proud of this, I started blaming him for my pain and pushed him. I was so physical, I felt dark, nobody was loving him with me and maybe I didn’t even know how to love him either.
I needed help and didn’t know how to ask for it, I felt so ashamed. I cried every single day and felt like I was a beast, not a human and I would have never imagined It could have been so painful and that I could have felt so wrong and evil. I hated every cell of myself and everybody around me and taught this to my son too.
Have you ever been in a valley of sheer despair with perhaps your career, your family, your marriage, your relationship with yourself?
How could I overcome this rupture between me and my husband, child, family and society? How could I go back to accepting others and myself with all my darkness?
How could I forgive?
Who could teach me how to be a great mum to a gifted child with special needs, social and behavioral disabilities, to be a wife to a great husband who unfortunately didn’t understand what i was going through, to regain connection to the lost parts of myself.
MAKE A CHOICE: STOP YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS!
I decided to book an appointment with a psychologist, and my husband did the same, we each started looking inside our emotions and learned how to manage them. We now had clear awareness that we could not change Gabry or accept him without doing the same with ourselves first and this was not easy, it is not easy!!!
We had to be brave and resilient and started feeling more in control, owning ourselves and our relationship.
This was when we decided to go for a second child. Things were different this time, everything with Arianna was just perfect: we felt gratitude and a sense of “everything happens for a reason, just trust and don’t give up”.
All aspects of our lives were gradually improving, we were changing, BUT… the society and our relatives were not and we needed to keep moving and evolving, so after 2 years, we made a disruptive decision and moved to a country that was offering assistance and education to gifted children while at the same time offered better job opportunities for us as well as space away from our family. We would be able to create a new balance between the four of us on our own with no judgements.
Have you ever felt that in order to change you really need to do something that is completely out of your comfort zone that you are afraid of or keep postponing?
You are special and you deserve a new begin
We were courageous and creative and once we moved to Dubai, we found an amazing educational system because we asked out loud for what we needed. We looked for the right school and educators, without feeling wrong or in need of being accepted and included but feeling special and choosing who we felt would have enough experience, talent and skills to be exposed to our son and be able to fulfill our requirements.
Finding the right educational partners I was able to immediately resume with my Music Together classes. I then decided to become a Pilates Instructor and there, in my Pilates training, I met an amazing woman and coach.
Both my husband and I started this coaching journey for ourselves and our children. It was a time for us to move forward and gain back the 6 years we lost because of the challenges we were facing.
Seeing the positive impact on ourselves, we realized how coaching should be a human right, so no-one would ever feel alone or judged and be able to move towards realizing their dreams at their full potential and capacity..
We discovered our vocation to coach people, partners, parents and leaders and decided to found LEA Growing People.
Luca became an internal coach also in Google and I became the CEO of LEA.
We opened our company and took on board all the experts and coaches who helped us become who we are today because we want to share them with the world.
Make the impossible possible
I am here to share that we are experiencing a new era that is opening up for us, where we can let go of judgement, of labelling, of compartmentalizing. Let go of choosing between being a perfect mum or a perfect woman in career, choosing between being alone or being in a relationship, choosing between losing and living in abundance.
We are great parents, you are a great parent, as soon as we forgive and accept ourselves and others and we define our purpose in life: which are the ACTIONS we want to take and the individuals, partner and parents we want to BE to get there.
Start today realizing you are a great parent
We are every day increasing an extra bit of self esteem, strength, power, security, energy and now we are aware this journey will never end, we will keep growing and expanding and reaching every instant further if we have a clear destination.
And while we are moving further you don’t want to be alone. What if you could together with us, as an entire community of parents, start from today to:
FIND THE SPACE FOR “ME TIME”
Practice Self Affirmation to identify how you want to be recognized as a person and as a parent
DISCOVER YOU ARE ENOUGH
You have all the wisdom within to start something new or to let go of something that is no longer serving you
EMPOWER THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN
When we behave and we act exactly as we would like to life is amazing
Not sure of how to do that? Do you feel like wanting an accountability partner? Explore our family services to start together with us a journey of self love and self discovery to become the parent you want to be.