In a recent interview with Ahluwalia, self-discovery coach and motivational speaker, Calypso Barnum-Bobb shared her vision to inspire individuals to unlock their true potential and lead a life filled with purpose. With her expertise in empowering people to embrace their authenticity, Calypso shares valuable insights on building genuine connections with yourself and others. Find her tips on making authentic connections with yourself and others.
What makes you feel in unison with yourself?
Taking time for myself. My mornings are definitely a time I feel most in unison with myself. I start my day on my own, I go and sit in my little backroom with my journal and just chill and set my intentions. Because I'm from London and there's always noise, I like to find moments of quiet and that's when I feel most alive.
What makes you feel in unison with the world?
I think just connecting with people in real life. Especially because over the past few years the work that I do is mostly online, when I get to feel people's energy, give them a hug or laugh with them it makes me feel in unison with other people. I like relating with people on emotions which include sadness, so any opportunity where I can meet them when they're actually feeling vulnerable, I feel honest connections there. That’s when I feel most connected to the world because you realise we’re actually all the same and we are all going through something. Those little moments of raw connections you know. This morning I was on the train and the woman next to me turned to me and asked “how are you?” we actually started a conversation and spoke about our journey. It was so nice. The little reminders through bits of real-life connections are when I feel most connected then to the world. I'm like, yes, we're actually all the same and we're all going through something.
Who or what has been a strong influence in your life and career?
Ooh, that is a big question. I'm the oldest sibling of four and I think actually my younger siblings have been a strong influence. As a big sister, I always have had this energy of wanting to protect and wanting to take care of people.
When I was growing up I would pick them up from school or make sure that they were okay. Going into my career being a coach, it's almost like that big sis energy to just help people out and support them has always been there. That's been the biggest inspiration because it's like my whole life was gearing me up to this moment of just being there, listening and being able to give advice if people
wanted it. So I think my younger siblings, thank you.
What is a lesson that you've learned from your family?
A big lesson that I’ve learned is being true to yourself. My mum and dad were together until I was 18, but they should have broken up many years before that. I didn't grow up with a representation of a true, loving, grounded relationship and I saw two individuals probably make themselves unhappy for the sake of something else. The second my parents separated, they were both so much happier and also we were all so much happier. Now I'm always empowered to make sure that I'm putting myself first in my relationship and my friendships. Constantly asking myself what do I want? What do I need? What's going to make me happy?
What about is a lesson that you've learned from your community and who would you say your community is?
As a mixed-race girl, I spent so long not knowing who my community is. And I think I've come to learn to love and accept that there are so many communities for me. It sounds so cheesy and I feel I'm gonna cry when I say it, but I'm beautiful for who I am. I grew up with a white mom and was surrounded by a lot of white people. Over the past, probably between five to ten years of my life I have started to love my blackness, my black community, and people that look like me.
Also, as a queer woman, loving the queer community and feeling accepted was something that I discovered about myself later in life. It just comes back to not caring about what anyone else thinks or feels of me, and just showing up as who I am, celebrating who I am, all of who I am, not just parts of who I am.
Tell us about the personal items you have with you. What personal meaning do they have?
I brought four journals that I have been writing in over the past 18 months. In those journals, my life has literally changed, they've helped me turn my life around. Every morning I'd wake up and I'd write whatever was on my mind. When I first started journaling, I was working in fashion in a nine-to-five. I was so burnt out and I had no idea what I was gonna do. The energy of being able to get what was in my mind onto paper allowed me to literally turn my life around. So that's the first thing.
I brought this necklace. It was the first present that my dad ever bought me. My mum and dad always bought gifts together but it was always my mom who picked them. And I remember it was one birthday and my dad came with a card and a present. I was like shocked, I didn't even realise that I'd never had a present from him until he gave me one. So that was really special.
I also brought crystals because I don't go anywhere about them. For me, they're just a symbol of always having something with me to protect me. In the morning, if I'm going out, I'll have a look to see which one feels like it's speaking to me and I'll put it in my pocket. Even when I'm doing a workshop or a talk, I'll have it in my pocket and I'll be like holding it in my hand every now and then.
And I’ve brought three books. The first one is The Secret, which is such a cliche book but when I was seventeen working as a receptionist at a gym, I grew up in a Christian household. It was the only thing that I thought existed. One day this woman gave me this book over the counter telling me to read this. And my first reaction was who is this woman? Who is this crazy person and what is this book she’s handed to me? Where is the Bible? I read it but I had no idea what it meant at the time. But now I look back and I'm that was a pivotal moment for me starting to open my mind up into the world, who I was and what I could bring into my life. The second book is Shoe Dog by Nike, uh, by the owner of Nike, Phil Knight, because I used to work with them and it was a massive part of my career in helping me build my confidence to really feel unstoppable. Working with the biggest brand in the world and them respecting your opinion was massive. It assured me that I do know what I'm talking about after years of thinking I didn’t, making that another pivotal moment in my life. The last one is The Alchemist, which is just a great book about why you should follow your dreams.