Henrietta Szovati

A writer, leadership coach, a Hungarian born British with Spanish blood rushing through her veins.

I work with people who are onto finding their presence. I help people put themselves on the map and use their voice for all the things they have passion for in the world. My clients are passion-driven entrepreneurs, corporate individuals, creative and intelligent people who love the world more than they love themselves.

I grew up really quickly as if I missed my early years. As a child of an alcoholic, I learnt how to read other people’s emotions before I could read my own. I spent a lot of time dreaming about faraway lands like Egypt and India where I wanted to be working as an archaeologist.

I studied Egyptian mythology and always found the process of “unearthing something from under the soil” fascinating. I grew up on the mystical tales of the East and knew early on I would not be leading a typical Hungarian life. I started writing at the age of 10 but I never really dared to claim it as my job until I finished my first book at the age of 36.

I was 3 years old when my grandfather lost me in the snow while sledging only to find me hours later laying in the white snow smiling to the sky. I lost him when I was 16. That made me tough, mistrusting and alone. From there on, I did most things alone but his belief in me kept me going to finish university and remain ambitious for life. He taught me diligence, hard work and the beauty of being in and with nature.

At the age of 22, I had an accident that left me in a coma from which I woke up with a tube sticking out of my skull, looking like a Buddhist monk. That week in the hospital changed my life. I started to think about God (a concept I never had before), I questioned why I was alive and certainly how I wanted to continue living.

I explored various spiritual practices, I was a practising Buddhist, became a vegetarian, took up meditation and yoga. I was in a spiritual bubble until my 26th birthday when I decided to take a leap of faith and embrace a religion.

I knew deep down that it was my path but I struggled to merge my European identity with my Eastern philosophical mind. I was confused about emotions, I was torn between many worlds. I was torn between my heart and my mind and writing became my passion. Without writing I was lost in the deserts of Egypt, confused in the streets of London and certainly unsure of myself when I married a charismatic, ambitious Bangladeshi man.

My second big turning point came at the age of 35, after 12 years of marriage. Life became my enemy. Nothing worked and I wanted nothing except leave my life, business, family home and disappear. I packed my kids and went to the Andalucian mountains where I spent two heart opening years while I finished my book, HeartSmart – One Woman’s Journey from Her head to Her Heart.

I moved to a mountain town of Ronda, Southern Spain where I did not know a single soul and worked through my life until it was all etched on the pages of my book.

I spent my youth feeling small , insignificant, held down by confines of emotional struggles. I never felt I had the right to speak up, or to be powerful. I was shy and reserved, quiet at best and struggled with social anxiety at worst. I never felt I really mattered. I was always passionate about justice but hardly able to speak for it. I did not feel I was on the map, I just blended in with whatever life was around me.

I always felt invisible and lacked presence, a hideaway technique I mastered over time.
I kept chasing countries as a way to put myself on the map – I lived in Egypt, Spain, always worked internationally so I could travel but I hardly felt I was on the map- the expression I find significant for my life.

I have learnt the power of solitude. I have mastered the skill to hold a room, fill up the space and embrace my true self. I learnt to speak up, hold on my own. I found my core. I became the woman I always knew I was- strong, creative, daring, roaring, endearing. I am also soft, gentle and quiet when I need to. Knowing how to be both and choosing it consciously is my way, so I can be the woman with a voice who is on the map.

Feeling small and insignificant is a real struggle for a lot of people. We often do not feel we have the right to speak up in important moments that affect our spiritual and emotional life. We feel less than anyone else in the room, yet brew quietly inside.

I did not know where to turn for help when it became obvious to me that I struggled with it. I tried spiritual gurus, read all books in the self-help market. I chanted with Buddhists on the weekends and worked like a soldier during the week. All helped a little bit. But not significantly.

Then I trained as a coach because I wanted to learn this skill for myself. “From invisibility to be on the map” is a journey we can only take ourselves and we all need help with that. Being assertive but not arrogant, clear but not demanding, stand in integrity without feeling a sense of entitlement- for me, this is inner growth at its best.

I know the significance of self-confidence, creating space for the inner self to grow. I know that the only thing we will take with us once we depart from this world is our deeds we leave for others. Money or fame does not move me, real people do. Good actions coming from core integrity do.

My object is a leather notebook I made myself in Fez. The paper is bound by hand and the covers have been designed by me, I spent hours on this. I did the bookbinding because it was a new skill I never had. The process of creating my own book was a symbol for me to create my own life- a life that is in alignment with my values for adventure, truth-telling, joy, clarity, beauty and creativity spiced with learning, growth and expansion.

Life is a truly wonderful adventure and as long as we are open, willing and ready to go within ourselves. The process of life is deep, thrilling and wise, it will take us to amazing places but most importantly it will guide us to our own self. That is all we need to lead a full, rich life and help others on the way.

To have a conversation about coaching or anything else you’d like to discuss, get in touch with Henrietta in the following ways: