Mara Senese

Mara Senese


I am an American who has lived in Norway since 1983 when my American boy friend invited me to come and keep him company for a year while he worked for some government project.

How I managed in those early years is hard to believe in hindsight, but it gave me the foundation for the work I do today. “Creative renewal” was a constant necessity to find my way forward through the challenges, just as it is for any individual or company as we go through life’s phases and cycles.

Before I came to Norway, I was a visual artist; making paintings, drawings and sculptures. To pay my bills, I worked as director of the evening divison in the same art school where I had taken my degree. Originally I had been a language teacher for about 20 years but loved my newfound life as an artist.

I was recently divorced when I met the “man of my life” who promised to support me financially while I made art, if I followed him to Norway. It was a chance I couldn’t resist. I tried to get a leave of absence for the year but only got a month off.

It turned out that I quit my job to stay with him for the year, only to have our relationship blow up after three months. Eventually he returned to the States and I stayed on to face many challenges on a cultural and economic level.

Moving to Norway was a major transition in my life. During the first years, by some amazing stroke of luck, I became a part of the art environment at the Norwegian National School of Art as a visiting student. I established my own studio where I also taught art.

After a few years, I joined a three-year program for Expressive Therapies that was held in Sweden, associated with Leslie College in Boston. When I finished this program, I began running open courses for personal development based on creative expression and also had a practice as an art therapist.

Many business people came to my courses, where I also taught the art of visionary thinking and intuition development. One of my students suggested that I bring these approaches into the business world.

This happened in 1987 when I was asked to do a program for a group of middle managers in a multi-national Norwegian Corporation called Norsk Hydro.

That was the beginning of a 25 year career as an organizational consultant. During these years I have worked with individual leaders and teams in both private and public sectors. The emphasis has been on visionary thinking, intuition, communication and personal development.

Somewhere during this period, I met a Norwegian that claims he was crazy enough to fall in love with me and we married in 1992. He was a financial director in a big corporation and I was a hippie artist – a combination that has birthed lots of creative friction and new horizons.

Always a curious student, I have continued my own self-development throughout the years and although I stopped being a professional artist, continued to keep my finger in art and creative methods for my own pleasure and development.

Because of my passion for finding ways to access this inner power of creativity, I have had my eye out for any and all approaches and techniques that make this available. I have then used these approaches first with myself and then with others over the years.

In 2007 I began the study of Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching offered by the Center for Right Relationship in California. I found a discipline that bases its whole approach on accessing that inner creative power. And it works. In 2009, I became one of the first certified coaches in this systems intelligence approach, adding it to my tool kit for Creative Renewal.

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