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How I became a Mindfulness Coach

Updated: May 29, 2023


My name is Renata Cortês and I am 42 years hold. Since I was a child, I felt that sports were everything for me, the thing that made me most happy. It enabled me to connect to others, experiment, be creative and above all feel free. I was naturally good at almost everything, no effort was needed. Even though I also liked natural sciences and physics, anyone would think the natural option would be for me to take a related sports degree, but that didn´t happen wright away. You see, my family had a strong background of doctors and engineers, somehow in my mind I felt that a sports degree would not be enough. So, I wondered 1 year in mathematics and 3 years in a Mechanical engineering, before I was depleted of energy to continue to do it anymore.


After 4 years I finally decided to go for my true heart calling., and in 2007 graduated as Exercise Physiologist. In Portugal it was a new degree specifically to work as an exercise specialist with the focus on health promotion and disease prevention. I thought this would be supper interesting for hospitals, health centers, etc. But as I said, it was very new in Portugal, apparently it still is. I ended up working as a Personal Trainer in well-known gym chain, which gave me a lot of experience and tools in exercise prescription, delivering and securing one on one training programs, as wells as selling the Personal Training product. The thing was that for these big chains the goals is to sell as much possible and have happy clients. I didn’t feel that I was born for selling. I trained for prescribing exercise! So has the levels of frustration would get higher I would change gym to gym, and sometimes country, hopping something would change. If I knew then what I know now, many, many readjustments would have been made on the appropriate moment, and not years later.


Anyway, as frustration, sadness, anger and sister like emotions and feelings were starting to pile up on the shelves of my existence I decided it was enough! Being alive had to be more than just unpleasantly going from one day to another. I decided to take some time off and do things I had never done. And it was in this context that I was introduced to meditation and it’s benefits. I remember thinking “if the monks can be happy having nothing and living in the middle of nowhere, so can I”! Only recently meditation has become mainstream, so it was not so easy 10 years ago to find so much information, or non-religious attached meditation centers in cities. Eventually I did a 10-day silent Vipassana retreat, and after that there was no coming back to the old self.


After the vipassana experience, I participated in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program and things got even more clear, as the program contextualizes, specifically in dealing with, stress and challenging situations, in which way meditation and mindfulness practice can provide a sustain a meaningful change in one-self and life in general. I found the program so amazing that all the cells of my body directed me to get certified in delivering Mindfulness, its contents and practice to people from all over the world. So, I realized my passion was still there - health promotion and disease prevention - but instead of facilitating the training of the body, I now facilitate the training of the mind.


Since 2016 I personally designed and implemented intensive programs in 5-star Hotels, facilitating one-on-one mindfulness stress reduction programs to people from all over the world. I believe that in this moment is crucial the existence of programs and experiences that can assist and bringing light in facing personal and professional challenges.



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