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Merja talks about her Heart's Vocation, and Hope

Hey everyone, Merja and Amelia here. Welcome to Real Conversations with INFJs and INFPS. This is Season 1, Episode 5.

Amelia Harshfield: Today is an interview with Merja here, and we’re going to shoot some rapid-fire questions at her and we hope it will help you get to know Merja a little bit better.

So, are you ready Merja?

Merja Sumiloff: Let’s do it!

A: So, personal snapshot-wise, what are you doing that is working for you right now?

M: Ok. I’m reprioritising my life. So, really looking at what are the main things in my life and then reprioritising that, and

actually putting the time into those things. Right now I’m a bit time-poor because I’m going away in a couple of days time and that’s fine. What I’m working on right now is really giving myself permission to reprioritise in a way that makes me feel happy on a day-to-day basis, or happier than I already am.

A: Nice. What are you doing that’s not the best thing for you right now?

M: I think I’m on YouTube too much, honestly, keeping an eye on stuff that I can’t control. That’s a recipe for disaster. What I really should be doing is giving myself a half an hour window at the end of the day, or beginning of the day, or lunchtime, to catch up and then not go on to YouTube at all. I’m not saying that this is what SHOULD be done by everyone. I rarely use the word should, but I’m using it in this instance because I KNOW it works!

A: I was hoping you were going to say “looking at funny cat videos” or something like that! Like 30 minutes of funny cat videos!

M: Well, honestly that works for me so that wouldn’t be the right answer for this question! I must tell you that I am so blessed in so many ways. The people I know, the amount of funny memes that I keep getting on Facebook, on all the social media platforms! I keep getting funny memes all day long so I’m very blessed that way. That’s one of the great things about knowing so many people intimately, because I tend to get to know the people I work with really well. They also get to know me a little bit and if they find something hilarious they send it on to me. I do get a lot of laughs!

M: Nice!

What does a day in your life look like? How do you fill your days?

M: With a lot of stuff! Through the reprioritisation space I’ve been focusing more on the equestrian side of things. I’m spending about 4-5 hours per day just on equestrian activities, and then another 7-8 hours on work. I sleep somewhere in there as well, and I make space for one-on-one time with my partner every day.

Those are the most important things for me. What form that takes is a whole different thing. But yes, that’s what my days look like. I’m a home bird, which means that I do like being at home. If I have to go out somewhere it feels like a massive disruption!

A: What is your heart’s vocation?

M: My heart’s vocation is to do with self-leadership, and understanding yourself, and building meaningful relationships. That comes from just having that compassion and effectiveness and industriousness in your own life. And then sharing that with other people. So, sharing what’s meaningful for you with other people. That’s really my heart's vocation.

A: Just to let people know, when I say ‘your heart's vocation’ that’s just doing things that you love to do.

So, what are you doing for income right now?

M: I’m one of those privileged people who have built their lives in a way that I can do exactly what I love, what is my heart’s vocation, and get paid for it. So, teaching, speaking, writing. Yeah, it’s all about self-leadership. For some people it’s team-leadership, or family-leadership, or leading your sports team. It all centres around shared compassion and effectiveness.

A: Got it.

And what is giving you hope right now?

M: That’s a really good question because there’s so much that is challenging and there’s so much that is easy, so it’s about finding what to focus on. But, something that’s giving me a lot of hope right now is how people are really starting to see each other a little bit more again. I felt like there’s been a really big divide between people for the last couple of years. All around the world there’s a lot of separation and not seeing things from each other’s perspective and now some people feel like they’re starting to come together. At least some people. There’s always going to be extremists in everything in life. But it’s giving me hope to see that people are coming together, especially young people are giving me a lot of hope right now, and how they want to see their future when we’re gone.

A: Why is this giving you the hope that you’ve just mentioned?

M: I think people are experiencing their sense of personal empowerment earlier in life these days. I think the tools are out there, access to the information is out there, and it feels like we’ve moved away from the way Children were brought up in the 40s and 50s, under very strict control. In the 60s, 70s and 80s things were a lot more flexible. I mean, you can talk about parenting styles here. But there has been a massive swing and now it seems to me like young people are doing it for themselves, they’re doing Inner Parenting and things like the 4 People Within®️course. They’re learning the parenting styles that actually work, where you do what you love and you allow yourself to have a life that you love, but at the same time you hold yourself accountable for your conduct and what you do create in the world. That’s what’s giving me a lot of hope.

We would love to know if you found this conversation helpful. Tell us about your main takeaway from this article, or share your experience in the comment section. Thank you for being an important part of this community and doing your work to create more compassionate and effective leadership in the world!

We wish you a day full of wonder!

I’m Merja Sumiloff. I’m the Personality Decoder and I show my clients and people who come to me how to heal and grow their relationships without massive disruption to their day-to-day lives.


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