Natalya Hramova is a compassionate soul who identifies as an entrepreneur, a health coach, nurse, journalist, and professional musician. The author of multiple art-related articles and interviews published in Ukraine when she worked full-time as a journalist. Natalya’s most recent work focuses on the human soul’s struggle. Immigration to Canada has not stopped her from doing what she has always loved – writing while caring daily for patients in one of Canada’s most prominent hospitals. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”, is her favorite motto, and as a mental health advocate her compassionate care has touched the lives of many. Then continues to inspire her patients, team members and friends to be their best self while facing adversity with courage and have compassion as a life philosophy.
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Most Influential Person
Effect on Emotions
- I learned to be kind to myself.
Thoughts on Breathing
- Breathing is a life force, it brings peace and energy, it centers you, it brings you to who you deeply are in your deepest core. So, be with your breathing. Take it with you wherever you go and remember about existence and compassion as a life philosophy.
- Book: Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience By Brené Brown
- Book: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. By Brené Brown
- First, I was bullied in school as a child. And then later, when I was a young adult, and I studied in Conservatory of Music, I joined the choir by my friend who was a conductor for that choir and I enjoyed it very much.
- Because we sing pieces from very, very talented Ukrainian composers. And some of them we sung in the churches. And if you ever heard the choir in a church, you know how beautiful it sounds and how inspiring it can be?
- I noticed that some people in the choir kind of ignored me. They treated me strangely. I wasn't sure what was going on.
- From time to time, they would pick on me and make some strange and inappropriate comments about me being there. Certainly, not about my performance, but about me actually being part of the choir. So it was very, very strange. And I couldn't understand what was going on. But I didn't have the heart to confront them.
- After that, maybe several months of singing there, my friend who approached and invited me there. I could see that he was distressed by what he was going to tell me, he asked me to leave.
- When I asked, what was the matter, he said that approximately 40% of people in the choir felt that it wasn't my place, that I shouldn't be there.
- Above all, I demanded explanations. Was it about about my performance, or my punctuality? I knew I was good and that there were no problems related to that. He actually blushed and became red. He said, Natalia, I am very sorry, but you're Jewish.
- To clarify, our choir is for Ukrainian singers. I was devastated and shattered. I remember it was in the in the middle of the conservatory building.
- Firstly, I didn't say anything. I just turned and walked away. Then I went to a small room. I bawled my eyes out there. I cried as I experienced this heavy feeling of not belonging and not being loved.As a result, I carried that feeling for several years with me.
- However, when I was bullied, I was never confrontational. I searched for approval, love, and acceptance from so many people around me. If I'd had the tool of mindfulness at that moment when I was kicked out of that choir, I would've have a chance to go inside of me and search for that value.
- Moreover, I believe that there is not a problem or challenge that we cannot break through. Therefore, breathing can take us through pain, through challenges, and through suffering. And if I'd known about deep breathing at that moment, I am sure I would let it go much faster, much easier than I actually did.
- I am a Ukrainian Jew. My mom is Jewish, half Russian.
- As a result, I forgave everybody for that. And there is a reason for those moments, because when something is very much forbidden for a long time, and Ukrainian culture suffered enormously during Soviet Union, it was reciprocated and basically suppressed.
- To sum it up, when Ukrainian people started becoming independent and regaining their identity, there were a lot of moments when they were not fair toward people who spoke Russian, those people who were not Ukrainian.
- But I totally understand and accept the fact that there were reasons for that. I just happened to be a scapegoat. Most importantly, I totally forgave. Because they didn't know what they were doing. That's why I decided to have compassion as a life philosophy.
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