Blog 1 Camiel and Marieke: “Look at yourself and show yourself. You and your behavior are an example to others.”

Camiel Gielkens (CEO) and Marieke Schouten (Director) have an ongoing email conversation about the things they learn in everyday life. In their first emails, Camiel asks what Marieke does to stay mentally fit. Read along and hopefully you feel inspired!

Camiel Gielkens Schouten Global

From: Camiel Gielkens <>
Sent: Thursday 14 January 2021
To: Marieke Schouten <>
Subject: letter

Dear Marieke,

So much has happened in 2020. And how much have we learned: about online learning, for example. Remotely captivating and binding all colleagues. Or the implementation of a reorganization, just to mention something.

Together we just kept going. And yet during Christmas I noticed that my energy had run out for a while. And also that I looked with fresh reluctance to the beginning of 2021. A period in which we both have our hands full with homeschooling and supporting our loved ones.

This is, of course, a relatable story for many of us. We all just have to "deal" with this. I also see that in my environment, despite everything, everyone is doing very well. But is that really so? Are we unconsciously side stepping the uncertainties that we all naturally have?

A while ago we had a webinar with Jacqui Brassey and Annemarie de Bourbon de Parme. The topic was emotional flexibility; how do you cope with pressure and how do you stay fit in these uncertain times. Their tips; take care of mind and body, live from your purpose and show yourself.

I am very curious how you deal with the uncertainties in your life and what you do to stay mentally fit.

I look forward to your reaction!




Marieke Schouten

From: Marieke Schouten <>
Sent: Thursday 14 January 2021
To: Camiel Gielkens <>
Subject: letter

Hi Camiel,

I started the new year the same way I finished the old one: virtually. And with a ‘second job’ of logistics planner and communications specialist, to organize care for my child and coordinate with hubby and others. In 2020 I experienced that my world became smaller. Or larger, because from my office I can be in touch with everyone in the world through the new media. But I missed having real-life experiences and being out in the world. I, too, had to cross a mental hurdle to get back to work on January 4.

I could tell you a wonderful story here about how consciously I am working to keep myself mentally and physically fit. But nothing is further from the truth. It is a struggle to organize alone-time when everything is going on in and around your home. Finding opportunities to unwind is a challenge all the time. Yes I make time for sports, yes I try not to sit too long in front of the PC and I’m walking my feet off. I read books and listen to podcasts and I Zoom with friends. But stepping out of the everyday routine, for example being absorbed in a crowd of dancing people or marveling at the immensity of a view you've never seen before, those are things I find hard to fill in for myself at the moment. It lacks catharsis, which I think is important in addition to the tips you give. And I think many people with me miss this. But hey, thinking about what you’re missing leads to apathy, so let me tell you how I was triggered again by something different.

I enjoyed reading an article (Dutch) by Ben Tiggelaar about who you want to be in 2021, with tip no 1: See yourself as a role model (and act accordingly). It triggered me to look at myself from a different perspective and show myself. After all, when you realize that you and your behavior are an example to others, it can help you change. In short, back to my own basics. What do I find important and what do I need? And then just do it (within the current restrictions).

So we created an ‘over-the-garden-fence-drink’ with the neighbors, no more Teaming or Zooming behind your PC, but old-school via the phone while scoring (or making) a delicious latte. I take walks now with customers and business relations, I 'appropriated' different workplaces (the garden house, living room, study, at my parents) to have some variation, I am discovering my own country, the Netherlands, during trips, I’m dancing as if no one can see me and I planned me-time. Everything to get stimulated, surprised and in touch with others again, something that is an important part of me. And most of all, making sure I'm smiling from ear to ear every day. We can do as many sports and mindfulness exercises we want, but laughter is my ultimate catharsis for now. And let my personal slogan be: work hard, laugh hard!

So Camiel, what do you do to stay mentally fit and what is your secret catharsis moment so you can continue to excel in your work?

Curious to hear from you.

With a big smile,



Do you have a question to Camiel and Marieke?

Curious to know what they think of a specific theme relevant to you? Share it with them (you have their email address now). They might just refer to it in their next emails!