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Bring more of your truth, vulnerability and heart
forward with others.
Experience more depth, aliveness and closeness in connection.

Most people I know (including myself) long to feel free to be themselves more, authentically and unapologetically, around others. And they long to feel more deeply connected to others as well.


I believe that our sense of connection deepens when we are willing to let ourselves be seen more fully for who we are in the moment.

When we dare to bring more of our truth, vulnerability and authentic expression into connection with others. And when we open our hearts to receive more of the other beyond our fears and judgments.


But this kind of relating to others from an open and vulnerable place is pretty scary for most of us! 

Fear of rejection and disapproval by others, fear of what we might feel in ourselves when we open up more, and fear of being hurt and not received in our innocent expressions of appreciation and love, are but a few reasons why we hold back in connection. 

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What we hold back
keeps us out of real contact with each other.

'Being Yourself in Connection' is a container where you'll have the opportunity to practice bringing more of yourself forward with others in real time and experience how transformative it can be to be yourself in connection more, supported by my guidance and in an environment where people typically feel very safe.



→ There's a nagging sense of disconnection and/or loneliness in your life that just won't be 'fixed' by any of the usual go-to's (career, nightlife, buying more stuff, various indulgences, social media, spiritual bypassing....). You've come to the point you feel ready to dive into deeper connection, and meet some of the uncomfortable places, vulnerabilities and emotions that need meeting within yourself.


→ You often times hold back on sharing what's really alive in you, edit yourself, easily go with what the other thinks or wants, people-please in order to be approved of or avoid rejection.

But you know this comes at a serious cost for yourself, like feeling disappointed with yourself, crossing your own boundaries, feeling frustrated or resentful.

You're wanting to learn how to share your truth in a more straightforward way and be a little more unapologetic about it too.


→ There are parts of you you feel shame around and that you hide for others, believing they are unacceptable, and others would surely reject you if they knew about them. You also deeply long to be known for who you truly are inside.


→ You find it hard to take up space in a group and feel uncomfortable receiving attention. Or hard to stay in touch with what YOU really want to do and to follow your impulse. You see this group as an opportunity to explore your right to exist, rewire your unworthiness to receive and embody a deeper self-leadership.


→ You tend to lose yourself in connection and want to practice staying with yourself and your own experience.


→ You find it hard in general to feel relaxed around others, be playful, expressive and/or spontaneous and want to learn to chill the f¨%ck out. :-)


→ You're tired of keeping up the facade of being 'perfect' or not really needing anyone. You don't want to push people away anymore and are curious what happens and what's possible if you allow people to come a little closer to the real you.


→ When you feel annoyed, frustrated, judgmental of people, you just don't know what to do with those feelings. Instead of habitually disconnecting from the other, you're now looking for a different way to stay in touch and share your true feelings and withholds.


→ You long to feel more free in your playfulness, your joy, your humor, your spontaneous movement, sound and expression, and are looking for a safe space to experiment with that. 


'Being Yourself in Connection' is for you if:

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Els held a container of integrity, honesty, vulnerability, and kindness; a safe space where I was able to show up and touch my edges in connection with others, where I became more aware of my patterns, my challenges, my light and my dark, and could bring love to them all so that they could unfold and transform. 

It was an honour to witness so many other beautiful souls as they shared their truths and there were wonderful moments of spontaneity, friendship and tenderness throughout. Each week I looked forward to the next session with eager anticipation. 

As I continue on after the course I feel further emboldened to bring my full self into each moment and the people that I meet. I would thoroughly recommend diving deeply into this course for anyone who wishes to know themselves more fully and relate with more authenticity in their lives.


With love,


(Simon Tanner, UK)

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"Thank you Els. 

Having recently completed the Being Yourself in Connection course I can say how touched I am with the depth of connection I experienced with all involved but also with myself. 

Is more of you ready
to come out
and play?

'Being Yourself in Connection' is a deep dive dynamic group process, based on being deeply present with ourselves, each other and with what's alive in us in the moment. 

When being deeply present this way, our relational blindspots – our subtle ways of being in connection where we are f. ex. hiding, rejecting or pleasing, our fears, our stories, our 'shoulds' – automatically become apparent and we can work with them in real time.

How we show up in connection is how we show up in life. And in relating to others, we also discover how we are relating to ourselves.

The workshop space will thus be as a play ground to practice our self-leadership.

How DO you want to show up in connection?

What new ways of relating do you want to adopt to deepen your sense of connection in everyday life?

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I really enjoyed my weekly sessions with Els and the other participants of the class and feel sad it has now finished. 

I enjoyed the honesty in the class, the trust in a safe non-judgemental space and I value that because of that I could share an experience which I would not necessarily share generally. It helped me to release some of the shame I hold about the topic, which I thought was very beneficial.


I also think that Els is really good at sensing how people, actually each one of us at the same time, feel and how they are doing.

Sometimes I would patiently wait to speak as I didn‘t want to interfere with the energy that was created (created in an online space, by the way, which I think is quite impressive!).

Els would sense that and gently invite me in.

She really holds the group together.


I was touched by many intimate moments between us participants. We did one session where everyone was invited to be exactly like they want to be in that moment and follow their own flow. No need to sit on your chair staring on the screen, but really listen to yourself and let your body guide you.

Half of the group ended up lying on their bed/floor with a cosy blanket and pillow. I will never forget that session. It felt so real. So honest. So free.


I would definitely want to recommend doing sessions with Els who is a great facilitator and you will be in good hands with her.

You might be surprised about the outcome. I personally want to integrate what I have learned into my life outside the class.


Thank you, Els!

(Daniela Schaffrik, UK)

The Being Yourself in Connection course will support you to:

→ become aware of what's really alive in you in the moment and stay connected to yourself.

→ reveal yourself honestly and truthfully and share the things you normally hold back.

→ meet your own experience and the experience of the other with genuine curiosity and openness.

→ receive the gift of feeling seen and heard by others without needing to be different.

→ create safety and clear boundaries for yourself.

→ take space more confidently.

→ learn how to be with discomfort, shame and triggers as they come up.

→ practice sharing withholds/judgments and navigate conflict.

→ trust your experience and intuition in connection with others

→ allow your authentic expression and playfulness to come through in the moment.

→ tap into more of the aliveness that is available in real connection.

These are skills and experiences beneficial for anyone wanting to thrive in their relationships and in life.

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(Dutch testimonial)

Being Yourself in Connection ervaarde ik als een ruimte van observatie, diep luisteren in verbinding met anderen.

Het was voor mij als een laboratorium waar ik kon kijken hoe ik normaal (onbewust) zou reageren, maar hoe ik ook anders kan reageren, hoe ik met al mijn (verborgen) gevoelens evengoed welkom ben en kan 'zijn' met anderen.

Ik ervaarde veel oprecht zoeken, een groot respect en een veilige plek.

Els creëert daarvoor de voorwaarden. Ze geeft ruimte, tijd, aandacht.

Ik ervaarde haar als een diepe, liefdevolle en nieuwsgierige aanwezigheid.  


Elke sessie was als een explorerende tocht met handvaten en oefeningen. Ik voelde me uitgedaagd maar op een zeer veilige manier. Het proces werd gradueel opgebouwd.


Els brengt ook haarzelf in de kring, dat gaf mij veel vertrouwen, waardoor ik het stamelen en strompelen van mezelf meer durfde laten zien en kon aanvaarden. Dat ze zichzelf ook helemaal meeneemt in het proces geeft ook verbondenheid.


Op een bepaald moment ervaarde ik een glimp van hoe ik in verbinding kan zijn in volledige vrijheid met mezelf (wat de vrijheid dan ook moge zijn).


Ik ervaarde subtiele veranderingen of bewustwordingen in mijn dagelijks leven. Een kiem is geschoten, ik moet het nog meer van datzelfde water geven.

(Guido Vrebos, Belgium)


About me

I've struggled with being myself authentically a lot in the past and I still find it challenging in many ways. It's basically the story of my life.


Revealing myself honestly, vulnerably and powerfully is my deepest personal practice and working with groups around being yourself in connection a big passion.


I trained with Circling Europe in 2014 to become a certified Circling facilitator and nowadays I'm a senior leader on their team, facilitating many workshops and co-leading the SAS Circling & Surrendered Leadership training.

In 2017 I trained in HeartIQ circle work with Christian Pankhurst, an amazing modality to embody more of our fullness and truth in life.


In 'Being Yourself in Connection', I'm bringing my own flavor and leadership in and to these practices to you, as well as my heart, my deep space holding capacity, my years of experience in working with people and different healing modalities, and my deep love for shame and shadow integration.

'I joined this course because I didn’t want to hide myself anymore and experiment with new ways of connecting and relating to others.

Els created a safe container and provided the space to explore showing more of myself. I felt free to explore being vulnerable and playful but also the sides I normally think are unwanted like feeling distracted or not interested in listening to someone.


Surprisingly, showing these unwanted sides allowed me to also experience more gratitude and appreciation and in general to feel more free.

Seeing the other participants, and Els herself as well, opening up gave a feeling of closeness and a more rich form of connection which was a beautiful experience.

This has encouraged me to practice with this more in my own life with my current friendships with already some good results and I am determined to deepen my friendships with the things I learned during these sessions.


This course can be helpful for you if you struggle to be who you really want to be during connection with other people and if you have a longing to create more satisfying relationships with the people close to you.

It creates a safe space that allows you to experiment with being around others in a way that feels more authentic to you even if you are a bit afraid to try it out.

(Raymond, The Netherlands)

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Practical Details

To get the most out of this workshop, come with an openness and willingness to bring yourself in and participate in the practices. This containers requires high engagement of its participants. Camera's need to be on to ensure the safety of the space.
The sessions will not be recorded.

Next cohort to be announced.

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Copyright 2021 Els Cardinaels - All rights reserved.

Photography of by Alima Ruf. 

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