This interview with inspiring Life Coach & Energy Psychology Practitioner Lina Skukauské is part of the ongoing Finding your Path series here on visualstrands.com, to hopefully inspire you to follow your own path in life.
Lina is currently traveling full-time together with her husband. We talk about finding your calling, the importance of self care, traveling full-time with a spouse and everything in between. Enjoy.
What made you decide when the time was right to change your work/life from successful photographer to life coach and certified energy psychology practitioner?
There were few different reasons. First of all, I built my career as a photographer from scratch and even though I have a few different passions in life I always wanted to reach a certain level of “success” before allowing myself to quit. Last year I finally felt that I’m happy with what I’ve done in this field and I’m ready to move on.
Secondly, life coaching, energy psychology (especially technique called EFT– Emotional Freedom Technique or just “tapping”) and in general personal development were a huge part of my life for the last 6 years. In the beginning, I focused on it because I wanted to grow my business as a photographer and just to improve certain things in my life but in the end, I found that for me techniques I was using were much more interesting than the goal I was using them for! Slowly it became a huge passion of mine, a second, hidden life so to speak- unrelated to my photography business and a little bit weird, especially as I worked mostly B2B as a photographer and my interests in psychology, energy healing, healthy living, and spirituality felt way too strange for corporate surroundings :-) I felt like I have to hide this part of myself to fit into my career- who knows was this really true or this was just a belief of mine? But as the years went by I felt the huge need to show my full self in my business and felt this calling for a big change.
Then there was an aspect of meaning. I really like photography and my wonderful clients, people seem to like my work and everything was going well but for me, there was always a missing factor in this career- a real meaning, a possibility to change lives and make a positive impact on the world. I’m not saying that photography or art, in general, is meaningless- by no means, it’s not, but for me personally, I feel like I need to make a difference in the world in a different way than capturing beauty or helping to sell more products :-)
And the last reason was more of a practical one. My husband and I are Lithuanians but we lived in Germany for a few years and we always knew we’re not going to stay here forever. I knew I wanted complete location independence- possibility to travel anytime I want, to live anywhere I want without it affecting my business and possibility to grow kids and still work without having to leave for few days in a row as I used to do when I was on some photo shoots. I knew I couldn’t do all this with photography, so something had to change. So at some point, we decided it’s time to leave Germany and it’s time for me to pursue a different career which would allow me the freedom I wanted.
Can you tell us some more about your new calling?
Absolutely! After my decision to change career I went to UK to study EFT and another modality from Energy Psychology called Matrix Reimprinting. I know, the names are awkward, but I love these techniques :-) I also finished studies to become a life coach with Australian Beautiful You Coaching Academy. These were techniques I have already tried myself with great results and I knew they would allow me to work with people and bring meaningful, positive shifts to their lives. Nowadays I combine life coaching sessions with Energy psychology sessions when working with clients and I help them to get clear on what they really want in life, set inspiring goals and then guide and support them to achieve those goals. Life coaching is part education, part motivation, and part accountability and it helps people to go from where they are to where they want to be.
Energy Psychology, on the other hand, is less structured and works mostly to remove emotional blocks from the past, thus allowing people to move forward with more ease. In these sessions with my clients, I help them to heal old emotional wounds, teach them how to quickly change their emotional state, we uncover and rewrite their subconscious negative beliefs and change their mindset. Energy psychology can be applied to so many various issues- from physical to psychological to spiritual. Because I’m using it in combination with life coaching I mostly focus on helping people increase their confidence and fully trust themselves when they’re going after their big, inspiring goals.
The internet has opened up so many possibilities, especially in the last few years. You’re traveling full-time now. Being a ‘digital nomad’ sounds so appealing but how does committing to this type of lifestyle affect your everyday life?
I think the possibilities these days are so amazing! For quite many professions having a laptop and internet connection is all you need to allow you to work from anywhere. We spoke about traveling the world since the day we met with my husband and even though we don’t have plans to do it all the time it’s a fun chapter in life. Freedom, adventures, seeing new cultures and in our case even saving money (it’s cheaper for us to travel than it was to live in Munich, which is the most expensive city in Germany) are the positive sides of being a “digital nomad”.
The need to be productive working from anywhere and adapt very quickly to constantly changing situations (traveling and moving in and out of different locations can quickly become tiring), possible loneliness when you leave all your friends and family behind (especially if you would travel alone) are potential negative sides. Some people might say it’s more dangerous, too but honestly, I think that it very much depends on where you travel, how you behave and just luck or karma. There’s no proof that something bad won’t happen to you at home so personally, I’m not willing to allow this fear to stop me from experiencing what I want :-)
I think it’s very important to be flexible, solution-orientated and positive when you choose such lifestyle- things won’t always go the way you want them to go, you’ll need to improvise (when you don’t understand the language, can’t find what you’re looking for, internet connection disappears when you need it for work etc.) and go out of your comfort zone. It requires you to leave what’s known, let go of control and trust the flow of life. For some people, that’s the beauty of it but for some I think that can be the most horrible thing ever :-)
Let’s talk self care. What are your daily rituals and how important are they to you?
I really love rituals as a way to add more intention, magic and self-love to your life. My daily rituals change over time and I must say that now when I’m traveling full-time it’s more difficult to sustain certain habits. In some cases simply because I don’t have the things I love with me anymore like soy candles which I used to burn during my morning meditation and journaling session or a hot bath with essential oils and Epsom salts :-) But as I mentioned above, you have to be flexible.
I recently finished an experiment of 100 days of daily yoga and I think that’s it’s very important to always (traveling or not) have enough exercises and I try to find ways to move my body daily through yoga, running, hiking, swimming or at least a walk. The other thing that’s with me daily is listening to audio books or podcasts- I love learning and I usually can combine this with running or walking. I also use different manifesting exercises- journalling, writing your goals or ‘Be, Do & Have’ list, using affirmations or guided meditations where you focus on what you want. Something I do not do daily but few times a week is EFT and meditation. On some hectic days just making a cup of herbal tea in your favorite cup and stopping for a moment can be the best ritual :-)
You’re traveling together with your husband. Deciding to change your own career is one thing but both traveling full-time is quite another. Any advice for couples who are dreaming of doing the same?
My husband works in IT and he used to freelance for a Danish company before moving to Germany, so even though he worked as a full-time employee in Germany it wasn’t that big of a change for him when we started traveling and working remotely.
There are few issues when you start to travel and work together (or at least from the same location even if you’re working on different businesses). My advice would be to first really discuss why and how do you want to travel – are your needs and ideas about how the life will be once you’re traveling similar? Which countries do you want to visit, what lifestyle do you want to experience, do you need to work from separate rooms/locations and how will you manage that? What kind of budget do you need to make it happen?
Personally, I think it’s a good idea to have some savings and at least one person from the couple earning a stable income. I would also choose to travel first to countries where it’s cheaper to live than what you’re used to- it just minimizes the pressure and gives more freedom because usually, the short-term rent is more expensive than long-term rent. The last thing you want to have on your mind as a couple when you live, travel and work together is money issues so I think this part requires attention and good planning.
And then there’s just the issue of always being together when traveling as a couple. You know how they say that you get to know the person best when you’re traveling together? So long holidays is one level, but doing it full-time is a completely next level :-) It can be a beautiful way to get to know each other better and to strengthen your relationship but it can be the opposite, too. Know yourself and your needs and try to give yourself what you want (for example I know I need time alone to function at my best and I need to keep in touch with my friends and family at least online).
And the last tip would be simple: if you have this dream – stick with it – plan your steps, take action towards it and believe that you can achieve it. Everything is possible when you really want it :-)
Life Coach & Energy Psychology Practitioner