“The Curious Alchemy of Vulnerability & Superpower” – how to grow your resilience in times of Covid-19

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When:August 25, 2020 @ 2:00 pm – 4:45 pm
Where:Zoom Executive Forum
Contact:Beth Kingsley-Rowe

01383 223353


Guest Speaker: Karen Darke MBE PhD

Executive Summary

The recent members’ survey identified “Resilience” as being a most sought-after workshop topic The pace and scope of change over the past months has tested most of us to the limit. Even the most resilient and robust of people are likely to be dealing with additional pressures and worries. Our vulnerabilities will likely be more apparent to ourselves and others than ever before. But what to do?

Karen Darke indicates a clear way to a solution in saying “Someone once told me, ‘ability is a state of mind not a state of body’, and I believe that’s true. Through my own journey, I’ve discovered the incredible power we have within us to change our thoughts, our emotions, and our energy. We can all learn to be our own alchemist, to transform unwanted emotions or experiences into gold, be creators of our reality and in doing so change our performance, our wellbeing, our world

Workshop Content and Output

Resilience implies the ability to ‘bounce back’ but the session will not only give you the tools, fresh perspectives and  inspiration to help bolster your ability to cope – when things get tough – but will also introduce ideas to help you ‘bounce forward’. The objective is to enable you to keep focused on the fresh and surprising possibilities that change and challenge can bring and to help you connect with the super-powers you may not normally access, or may not even be aware that you truly possess.

This is an interactive session in which Karen Darke our speaker (see bio) shares insights of resilience and developing inner strength that she has personally experienced through overcoming challenges in outdoor adventure and through competing in Paralympic sport. Touching on her own journey of highs and lows: from skiing, climbing and cycling across continents to winning Gold in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Karen will facilitate exploration of your own areas of mental strength and weakness, and impart ideas on how to ‘project manage’ your own “psychological framework”.

Pain and challenge in life is unavoidable and this workshop will help you connect with ways to navigate it and make the tough stuff work for you rather than against you. The session aims to help you strengthen areas of weakness, improve your motivation and build your mind-muscle. You will learn about tools Karen has found crucially helpful such as the power of negative thinking, creating bridges in the mind and the concept of ‘bio-caps’: the limits that we, or others set for and techniques to smash through these so that we can create outcomes that will surprise even ourselves.

The session will encourage you to reflect on some of the tougher times and aspects of your life, with the philosophy that embracing our vulnerability enables us to become stronger. The tone will in no way encourage wallowing on past or current difficulties, but on seeking the learning and the possibilities that emerge from such challenge.

Karen requests “Please accept the challenge to come with a willingness to be honest, connect with some of your vulnerabilities and consider what habits you would like to change to overcome yourself

 Dr Karen Darke MBE – Keynote Speaker – profile

Karen could be described as a modern-day ‘Alchemist’: an adventurer, athlete, speaker and author, Karen’s purpose is about inspiring and impacting, about turning challenge into opportunity, turning ‘mud’ into ‘gold’.

Karen started out as a geologist researching gold in the Bolivian Andes, but a life-changing accident that left her paralysed led her away from being a ‘rock-doctor’ to winning Paralympic gold in the sport of Paralympic hand-cycling in Rio 2016.

It was the 79th medal for Britain, and 79 being the elemental number for Gold led to Karen creating Quest 79: Find Your Inner Gold. The project has Karen cycling 7 continents in 9 iconic rides, raising £79K for Spinal Injuries and encouraging people to step out of their comfort zones and discover passion, purpose or ability: their ‘inner gold’.

Karen views life as an adventure, and she embraces all its’ experiences as opportunities to learn and grow. She has experienced some fairly extreme lows on her own roller-coaster, and knows how trauma, stress and life events can lead to fear, pain and under-performance. She has also created some highs, exploring and extending the limits of possibility physically, mentally and emotionally. She has skied across icecaps, kayaked at extreme latitudes of the planet, and hand-cycled across the world’s biggest mountain ranges and alongside some of the longest rivers.

She has also extensively explored and studied what goes on ‘inside’, from the power of the mind and thoughts to enable performance, to the impact of thoughts and emotions to transform her very being. Her career as an athlete and adventurer combined with her unique studies of mind, wellbeing and performance make Karen a specialist in human transformation.

Her first book “If You Fall” tells the story of her accident; the second, “Boundless” is about her adventures in Greenland and climbing El Capitan. “Quest 79: Find Your Inner Gold” is a collection of short stories positive psychology tips. All are available at www.karendarke.com

Karen has an MBE, a PhD in Geology, MA’s in Development Training & High Performance Coaching, and Diploma’s in Clnical & Pastoral Counselling, Hypnotherapy & Motivational Coaching. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from The University of Aberdeen, Leeds, Cumbria, Sheffield Hallam and Abertay Universities, in recognition of her accomplishments and contributions in adventure and sport. Contact karen@inspireandimpact.com or +44 781 0590244

Testimonial “Karen’s captivating story shines a bright light on the meaning of challenge, and on the limitless capabilities of the human spirit” Sir Ranulph Fiennes, polar explorer


a) Access codes for this Zoom on-line event will be issued within 48 hours of the start time

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