I am a consultant to heirs of historic houses & cultural assets and the creator of the Inheritance Muse Method™. My work, uniquely combines heritage management, coaching and holistic decision-making strategies which prioritise qualitative custodian experience and property optimisation. I also manage my family's historic residence & collection in Athens, Greece.
I have studied with the following institutions: interior design at Ecole Boulle, heritage management at Bocconi University, psychotherapy at IFS Institute and and decision-making at Cambridge University (ICE). My passion is to support people, in creating the mindset that will help them meaningfully manage their inheritance & property and in the process, gain a deeper understanding of themselves.
Here is my story.
I was three years old, when an unexpected coup d'état took over Greece in 1968. My parents had to escape the country. We left for Canada, taking hardly any belongings with us.
Both my parents had an appreciation for Greek culture heritage and Hellenic values. My father - a high performer, was a banker, earlier Greek-resistance fighter in WWII and advocate of Stoic philosophy. My mother, bohemian-inclined, was a Swiss-trained artist, an aesthete & avid collector of heritage artefacts.
My sister and I, grew up in an intensely creative & loving household but also within steadily increasing tensions - due to the strong but conflicting personalities of my parents.
I went on to study away from home, in Montreal, Paris and London. By the age of twenty-four, I owned a small property enterprise, involving the renovation and re-design of traditional heritage houses, on the Greek islands.
All this reflected an independent spirit. But, it also reflected my deeper need to escape the developing "Clash of the Titans" of my parents. Creativity and entrepreneurship had become my path away from the disharmonies of the family hearth and its traumas, and into a self-imposed exile.
In the 90’s I moved to the künstlerdorf Worpswede, Germany. I became involved with the Neu-Bauhütte Initiative, a revival initiative, bridging contemporary architecture with antique architectural practices, including Topostherapy - the Western equivalent to Feng Shui.
This experience gave shape to an experimental renovation project in Greece, at an abandoned village settlement, overlooking the Aegean Sea. For several years, I spent extended periods of the year there, balancing a life of voluntary simplicity - off the grid, with my life in Germany.
In 2003, my book HOUSE OF HARMONY - The Philosophy of Home Living, (Kedros Publishing) became a national best-seller in Greece. I decided it was then time, to loosen up my self-imposed exile. I settled back in Athens, my city of origin and nearer to where my parents then lived.
In 2009, at the dawn of the Greek Economic Crisis, I experienced a major turning point in my life.
I set off to navigate my boat, through the devastated economic waters of Greece, to save my own finances, the family residence and its collection. Real estate had just plunged. So there was only one way to go - to sail straight through it. At least that is how I saw it.
However my sister, who was co-inheritor, saw things very differently. From her perspective we should sell the house with all its things, to the first best offer - and be free of the matter. Her emotional need to 'close the family chapter' became evident but understandable. On the other hand, my need to foster & preserve the family hearth was equally important. After so many years of being away and now having had children, preserving it all was important to me.
Finding agreement between the two sisters was a long gruelling process resulting in further family wear-and-tear. Clash of the Titans Part II. But finally, we came to an agreement. To keep the house.
So, a great 'de-clutter odyssey' followed. I restored, archived and sorted the family heirlooms & valuable artefacts in the home. The residence was renovated and re-purposed. I curated its collection- which included Hellenic antiquities, Byzantine art, Coptic textiles, Orientalist paintings, original works by Byron and many other artefacts. We opened the house to the public. Today this is known as the Agiorgiti Collection.
During this process, I soon came to realise that this isn't just a simple sorting out of tangible things. It's a lot more complicated. I was dealing with pieces of a family story and ancestry- its past, its values, beliefs, traumas, struggles and experiences.
Looking back now, it is evident that I was also restoring my own inner exiled parts. Putting together the pieces of a broken story, in a new way. The process, of sorting the gems from the stones, took several years of personal psychotherapy and the exploration of various therapeutic models, including the relief from, what is called 'legacy burdens'.
I discovered that inheritance is a “continuous ongoing experience of receiving” - not just a one time event. It is more like an “inheritance flame” a dynamic, creative fluid essence, containing many intangible qualities from our family, our ancestors and cultural heritage, which we receive gradually. This affects us in so many ways, consciously- but mainly unconsciously.
It's all about mindset. Your inheritance is as small or as large as you want it to be.
The following years were spent, tapping into that inheritance flame through enterprise. I initiated the Athenian Muse, a culture-based creative agency and advisory in Athens. Many of its project ideas were inspired by my parents’ unique lifestyle. Parallel, I began more training in psychotherapy & coaching.
My passion for heritage involved me in various crowdfunding cultural preservation projects, as the 13th century Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers in the Loire, the Grand Salon at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris and other international heritage preservation projects, where I am still an active or part owner.
However, in the beginning of the first pandemic wave, I experienced a re-occurring dream, which threw me off course.
In the dream, the Ancient Greek goddess Hestia appeared, showing me a beautiful chest embedded with gems and my ancestors depicted upon it. The goddess told me, “You have opened your chest, now it is time to help others open theirs”.
To be true to tradition,
you need to be true to its flame, not its ashes.
-Jean Jaurès (1859-1914)
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