Featured Members, Positive Living Newsletter

Featured Member: Alison Manuel-Morgan

Hello everyone. My name is Alison Manuel-Morgan. I recently completed an MSc in Coaching Psychology and Positive Psychology. I work as a Life and Leadership Coach mostly for staff within various UN agencies, with a focus on women leaders.

My passion lies in the topic of self-transcendence. This began over a decade ago when I worked as a volunteer counsellor for refugees and asylum seekers. It was then that I met a young Burmese translator in his twenties who ignited my interest in the importance of transcendence, its relationship to meaning in life and its impact on wellbeing. To respect his privacy, I’ll refer to him as Zin. The story goes like this. Usually on quiet days, I would chat with the translators who themselves were asylum seekers that had recently made the harrowing escape out of their homeland via trafficking agents. For context, upon arriving in their new  host country, refugees can be frequently harassed by officials and locals, and generally treated as less then worthy. One day I asked Zin about his monthly salary and how he made ends meet. He told me he earned around US150 a month, out of which he donated half to charity. This blew my mind. He explained how through various innovative ways of communal sharing he was able to still live comfortably and maintain his financial contribution to others which meant so much to him. What amazed me about this soft-spoken young man was not just how his experiences had made him more loving, compassionate, and generous but that by transcending his suffering, Zin had become fearless. He was liberated from that one chronic ailment that so intensely plagues us all: the fear of scarcity. Zin, a person society would describe as one of the meekest among us, was the most accomplished, courageous person I had come to meet. He was psychologically free.

Today, some fifteen years later, I still cannot claim to have reached Zin’s height of transcendent thinking. But I soldier on, and continue with my own practice of self-transcendence, consciously defining what I stand for in this life and how I can bring this into the world. To this end, having discovered the great minds at INPM who share this agenda is for me, just gold.  I like forward to learning and growing with and from you all on all things meaningful and purposeful.