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Vera Knezevic

Vera Knezevic

Vera Knezevic grew up in the former Yugoslavia and at a young age, she was taught the stoic nature of the obedient employee. Such a mentality implies a stable, well-oiled, perfectly organized hierarchy, where each element knows and performs his or her duties. As Vera quickly discovered, this mentality doesn’t account for things going wrong and she eventually found herself without a job. She comments, “Stability doesn’t make us grow; the challenges of adversity do. Significant losses are painful, yet they provide space for other situations, people, and ideas to enter our lives.”

Facing the scary realization of unemployment, she began working around her husband’s and daughter’s schedules, giving French and English lessons to those in her neighborhood. In other words, she became self-employed! Vera writes, “I discovered I had more imagination, power, and skills than I thought possible. Being my own boss was exciting and planning my next steps was an important part of my strategy.”

As Vera gave more and more language lessons, something amazing happened! Much like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, Vera’s metamorphosis was complete – she was now an empowered woman. This transformation brought her a new-found confidence both professionally and personally. She knows with certainty that no matter how rough things get, she can trust her inner resources and fortitude to succeed.

For more on Vera’s journey from obedient employee to what it means to be truly empowered, read her story in “Women as Healers: Voices of Vibrancy.”