We had the good fortune of connecting with Valerie Silidker, M.S., BCC and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valerie, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
We live in a fragile time. A time when we are all touched by the suffering and heartbreak of our rapidly shifting world. So much of what we struggle with, as individuals and as a larger community, centers around unconscious identities, feelings of disconnect and loneliness, and an inability to process and integrate our emotions in a healthy way; a way that allows us to mature and fully participate in life. With so much trauma in our world, it is imperative that we look deeper within to understand who we are and what we value, to heal our relationships to ourselves and each other, build resilience and connection, and realign purpose with action so we can show up more fully in our own lives and become an inspiration in our world. This is the work we do at Psychospiritual Institute. To support our world, Psychospiritual Institute (PSI) provides a space for transformational regenerative coaching and coach training, personal growth, and evolutionary leadership development. We work with passionate people, who feel this shift in our world and want to be a catalyst for change. People who stand for wholeness, psychological and spiritual maturity, and personal and global leadership. We offer individual coaching and mentorship, workshops, mindful-living events, conscious business programs, and one of the world’s leading fully accredited transformational coach training and leadership programs in the transpersonal psychology of Psychosynthesis. At PSI, we are building a powerhouse community of creative changemakers, who are transforming the world through their own inner growth and self-awareness, leadership skills, and mission-driven businesses. And together, we hold a vision for a more connected, compassionate and whole world.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Who Am I? What do I value, and how do I live in integrity with my values? What does it mean to be fully alive? Since early on, my life has been dedicated to profound self-inquiry. I’ve explored unexamined assumptions about life and asked many important questions, questions that have helped to direct my path in alignment with purpose. I have always lived passionately, curiously, feeling deeply and intensely, falling in love with all my heart, wild, playful and free. I’ve lived with the spirit of a gypsy, and the wide open heart of someone broken open by the pain and injustice in our world. I believe life is sacred, and I have a huge romance with Beauty and Mystery. I’ve lived the life of a renaissance woman: a university professor, a tree-planter, a ranger, a successful entrepreneur, an activist, an author, speaker, Mother, spiritual teacher, yogi, large-scale event producer, musician, Earth-lover, and much more. I embrace my fears and believe that everything is possible. I am deeply compassionate, have a humble heart and a courageous, fiery spirit! I know I am capable, creative, resourceful and whole. And so are you. What I’ve discovered along the way, is that my greatest purpose is to support people to remember who they are in the deepest context. The more we recognize our interconnected, non-dual relationship with the whole, the more we feel and see and know that we are one with everything, the more inspired we are to courageously live our unique self into the world. My Great Work is to remind all of us that we are a significant part of the evolutionary process. There is no one like you in the world. I am excited to lift people higher and help them believe in themselves so they can thrive and share their gifts with the world. We all matter. What we believe, what we do, what we say, how we act, all of it matters, all of it makes a difference. I envision a world that is more connected, more compassionate, more loving. And it begins with me and the people I attract, who hold this similar vision. When we work together, we magnify the magnificence of who we are and what we can accomplish. Together, we get to make choices that move our world forward, consciously. That’s why I created the Psychospiritual Institute. I’ve taken all of my knowledge and heartbreak and wisdom, all of my experiences and growth, all of my questions, and with a passionate focus, created a space for us to explore together. We are stronger together. I believe in the power of community and holding space for our collective healing and resilience. I believe that a more whole world is possible. I believe in Active Hope.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, I’m a nature girl. We are going to visit local farmer’s markets and organic vegan restaurants, like Plant Miami at The Sacred Space. We would spend a few nights camping in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress, and visit Fairchild Botanic Gardens. We would take a yoga class at Inhale Miami and spend some time at the beach, visiting unique friends for firewalks and deep conversations, and generally, exploring off the beaten track.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, I have had an incredible journey thanks to so many amazing people. There are, of course, a few mentors, who have made a significant mark on my life and directed my path in profound ways. Eco-philosopher and Evolutionary Activist Joanna Macy is one of my dear mentors. She is the founder of The Work That Reconnects, a paradigm-shifting, heart-expanding eco-therapy that reconnects us with the natural world, which I have facilitated for over a decade. Joanna is a true elder in our world and a woman who holds a sacred place in my heart. Another huge influence in my life is evolutionary cosmologist Brian Swimme. He is a professor at CIIS and an author of many books focused on The Universe Story. His work informs much of the work I do, as well. In the realms of eco, depth and spiritual psychology, I have journeyed deep into the work of Soulcraft and Rewilding with depth psychologist “gone wild” Bill Plotkin of Animas Valley Institute. His work focuses on nature and the human psyche. I also spent close to four years studying with world-renowned psychosynthesis guide Dr. Didi Firman, along with Jon Schottland from the Synthesis Center. Both of them continue to be wonderful mentors in my life. I founded Psychospiritual Institute with my beautiful partner, Alyssa Whitehouse. Alyssa is a dear friend, who has worked for me and with me over so many years of activism, mindful events and now in our mission-driven business together. She inspires me, and it’s an honor to work with her and create together. Along with all of these amazing guides and collaborators, I have to honor my beautiful husband, Jay Flanzbaum, and my son Sagan. They stand by me through all of my visionary experiments, dreamy explorations and compassion projects. My mother, Lee Silidker, and my stepmother, Lisa Silidker, have always been huge cheerleaders by my side. And my beloved father, Marty Silidker, who was always a pillar of support in my life. I have an amazing family. Thank you for this opportunity. It feels good to reflect and give thanks to all of the people who have influenced and celebrated my life. To my dearest friends and community, you know who you are. I am blessed by each of you.
Other: Business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ValSilidker.InspiredLife/