23 July 2024
Interviews Xpat Services

Ana Kosta: on Trauma, Love Relationships and Women Healing

I am pleased to introduce Ana Kosta, a trauma-informed and somatic VITA™ certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, Conscious Dating Coach, and Women’s Empowerment Coach. Ana’s journey to becoming a love coach was born out of personal struggles in love and relationships, leading her to a profound healing journey and ultimately finding her own true love. With two Master’s degrees in International Business and nearly 20 years of experience living abroad in international communities, Ana brings a unique perspective to her coaching practice.

Based in Greece as an expat, Ana is navigating the challenges of establishing herself professionally while continuing to work with clients from around the world. Her approach to conscious dating emphasizes mindfulness, intentionality, and open communication, guiding individuals to find long-term, fulfilling relationships. Ana’s expertise extends to womb healing practices, emphasizing the importance of inner healing for a successful love life.

Through her workshops, seminars, and retreats, Ana is dedicated to empowering individuals to navigate their love lives with self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Her commitment to helping others find love and healing shines through in her work, and we are excited to see the impact of her coaching in the Athens expat community and beyond.

Could you share a bit about your background and what led you to become a love coach? How is life in Greece as an expat who is trying to establish herself professionally?

In a nutshell, I am a trauma informed and somatic VITA™ certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, Conscious Dating Coach and Women’s Empowerment Coach. I am also a Womben Wellness certified Womb Healing Circle Facilitator. I hold 2 Master’s degrees in International Business and I’ve been living abroad in international communities for almost 20 years. What led me to become a love coach is my personal struggles in love and relationships. I used to be that woman who was successful in all areas of her life, but love-life. Going through a deeply hurtful experience with my ex-partner at the beginning of my 30’s led me to a breakdown point where I had to start my life from scratch. I was a full time working single mom in a foreign country, abandoned physically, emotionally and financially. But I knew there had to be more to life than just living on my own with my only child at a time.

It took me more than 2 years to even dare to dream about new possibilities, a new partner and a relationship, because I was so deeply hurt, but I decided to start my own healing journey and fully embrace my desires that I questioned over and over again. I worked with a therapist, multiple healers and at the end a coach who helped me date to dream and believe that a wonderful and healthy love life is possible for me even though I was a single mom in my mid 30s. On the day of my last session with my coach I met my now husband and a life partner of almost 9 years and seeing my own success inspired me to go out and help others. So I took my first coaching education in parallel to my full time job. I used to be a senior internal audit manager in the headquarters of a Global Fortune 500 company, but life had other plans for me. I liked my job, as it took me all around the globe, but my passion for helping women find true love prevailed so over the years I leaned more into coaching and after a while I Ieft my corporate career and became a full time love coach. Sometimes I joke and say I have become a love auditor, as one similarity I found between auditing and coaching is that asking great questions can lead to so much clarity and improvement. You can find more of my story on anakostacoaching.com.

So here I am in Greece, still working mainly online with my 1-1 clients from all over the world, but also starting to establish my presence locally through organizing my first in-person events and a retreat. It’s been a bumpy journey so far figuring out all the bureaucracies, especially as a non-EU citizen, but this is nothing in comparison to what I had to go through in my personal life. Having a high level of resilience definitely helps to navigate the Greek expat life. And all the great aspects that I sum-up in  3 words: the food, the weather and the people, definitely outweigh all the administrative challenges. 

Can you explain what conscious dating is and how it differs from traditional dating approaches?

Sure! Conscious dating is a mindful and intentional approach to dating that has a specific goal (usually finding a long-term partner) and is based on enjoying the process. It is also a more liberal approach to dating where I encourage my clients to date multiple people at the same time and this is where it gets a bit tricky and often misunderstood. Dating doesn’t mean sleeping with people but in our society term dating is often associated with hookups that as a sole goal have a sexual encounter. While dating is not that at all… dating is collecting data. Conscious dating is going a notch beyond and the data we collect are there to teach us not only about our people but about ourselves and what we like, what we don’t like and how we want to be treated in a context of a relationship. Conscious dating is also about revealing all the truth and being open about our final intentions which helps not waste time with people that do not know what they want in their love-lives as yet. 

So the main difference from traditional dating is that people are encouraged to go on dates with multiple people, try to really get to know them, not go for intimacy straight away or not at all until it is clear that all other desires and aspirations match and align for a couple to co-create a loving and conscious relationship together. It’s a process of mutual natural selection based on patience, honesty and trust in the best outcome. Main problem with traditional dating is that it is based mainly on impulse and physical attraction only and it leads people very quickly into a relationship dynamic where they may not even be aware that they have slided into it. So people find themselves unconsciously in a relationship where they haven’t even discussed the main goals, desires and deal breakers and then they take about half a year and even much longer to figure out all these things and often stay together even if they do not like certain aspects hoping that it may change and that;s how they waste years of each other’s lives and get hurt and disappointed. All because they didn’t have awareness and courage from the start to approach dating in a more mindful and open way and get into a relationship only if they can already foresee how this relationship could actually be good for them. 

How can individuals become more mindful and intentional in their dating practices?

Basically by choosing to do so, which is 50% of the job done. And by embracing the courage to openly communicate what they are after, while at the same time cultivating a supporting belief that this process will help them find the best possible partner for themselves. I know this works not just because I am certified and trained to teach this, but also because I have personally experienced it as well and also many of my clients. Like Ralf Waldo Emerson said: “Once you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen.” You decide and act upon it. The hardest part is keeping that belief that it’s coming and that is why it is important to find pleasure and joy in this process and in life in general so we can sustain the belief even when we face hard times, rejections and disappointments. 

 I know you are also a certified womb healing practitioner. I can only assume that by achieving inner healing you can have a conscious and successful love life? 

Yes, I fully agree with that. If we run away from ourselves and our own problems and we do not take ownership and responsibility for our own happiness, it’s hard to feel successful and have an easy and conscious love life. I know it’s hard to face our traumas and work with them, but I also know this is the only way through the shit-storm that can keep playing over and over again until we take time to heal. Womb healing is something I embarked upon after taking my sex coaching certification as it deepened my knowledge and awareness of myself as a woman or a person with a womb and how I need to treat myself and my body in order to feel happy and successful in my life and also in my relationship. Understanding ourselves better is usually the key step to happiness because we do not project our failures on others and we are able to repair from within not expecting someone else to do it all for us. And when we get there, we mirror this to the others and even if we find ourselves in a challenging relationship and love-life situation it gets clearer because we are clear and things can only resolve from there. This is the power of inner work and the power of one, as when one person heals it has a ripple effect on all the other people around them. This is why I do not think we need to wait for our partner to start doing the work, and blame them if they don’t want to. I see so many women fall for this mistake. I always say, do what you can and watch the world respond, this is the power of one in relationships. This is also what I teach women in my Feminine Energy Course, how to balance masculine and feminine energy and come to power within themselves. I am so glad we will be bringing this work to the Athens expat community soon. On May 16, 2024, at the Impact Hub, we are hosting a 2 hours long Womb Circle: Balance your Feminine and Masculine Energy. I am so much looking forward to it.

What are some common pitfalls or challenges that people face when trying to date consciously?

The most common one is, they slide into the old patterns of connection they used in their teenage and adolescent years.This is a strong unconscious reaction to feeling attracted to someone and letting go off any breaks even when a person knows it’s not going to be good for them in the long run. So pretty much people lose focus from what their intention is in dating and slip into short term pleasures. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against short term pleasures, and it’s totally legit that many people would date just for that, it’s their choice. However, if you date to find a long term partner and you’re 30, 40, 50+, and can’t slow-down a bit to get to know the person before the chemical cocktail of hormones blurs your brain, then you should keep reminding yourself of your dating intention and find pleasure in process of getting to know the other person without going into it too soon, too fast and too intense, because this is usually what kills lots of dating encounters very quickly. People don’t know how to deal with the intensity or the lack of it when it’s gone and then they hide or run away. I hope that makes sense. 🙂
I also see people wanting to jump straight into a relationship, not being willing to put time and effort into the dating process and really learning what works for them in terms of having a long-term relationship and discussing all the major milestones of a relationship. Also not being willing to give that time and freedom to the person they are dating from a fear of losing them. But the paradox here is, they do not even have them, there is no commitment, yet they get obsessed about ‘losing them’. I understand they are afraid of not coming off as too “intense” or “demanding” with telling openly what they want from a partner and a relationship, but this is more likely to happen if they do not communicate their standards upfront and do not get to know the person for who they really are, because the truth eventually comes out. And in my opinion and from my experience it is better to reveal the full truth as soon as possible. And eliminate all the drama that can come from dating people who are not a good match for us. Honoring the time and process of conscious dating is incredibly rewarding as it sets a great base for the relationship and the years to come.

How can someone cultivate self-awareness and emotional intelligence in the dating process? Have you found any resistance in people when you explain what you do? Is society ready for such an open dialogue with ourselves?

Someone cultivate self-awareness and emotional intelligence in the dating process by: 1) not losing focus from their intention – what they are looking for and knowing that you need only to find that ONE person that is a match for you, so you do not worry too much that so many other people do not fit the ‘perfect vision’ you hold in your head, 2) by doing loads of self-regulating, self-nurturing and self-love and pleasure practices to regulate their nervous system and stay calm and grounded through the process 3) by communicating clearly their standards and boundaries to their dating partners, coming from a place of compassion. I call that compassionate honesty, rather than radical honesty. Because it is almost inevitable that they’ll face some rejection and ghosting in the process and they need to not take it badly upon themselves, but rather be able to move on quickly. 

About the resistance – yes I have, but honestly less than I have found delight and support, I guess because most of the people who even come to me are those who are interested. But when I tell people around and in Greece what I do, some of my neighbours for example, they tell me – wow, this is very much advanced for Greece. This is their perspective, not mine, but it’s kind of normal that not everyone would be open to this kind of work. I had someone back when I lived in Germany telling me – “maybe I am not ready to do all this work because I do not want to face what might come out”. So I get it, and I am not here to help everyone, even if I wanted to it wouldn’t be possible. My clients are predominantly expat women, 75% of them in fact, and those who are not are usually very self-aware people, I would say above average for the environment where they live in. So to answer your question about whether society is ready for such an open dialogue, from what I;ve seen so far in the 7 years that I have been doing this work, most of the society is not ready or not even seeing the need for such a compassionate and honest dialogue and approach to life, but every major change in society starts with rejection and questioning before it is widely accepted. So I feel like I am a pioneer of this work and in a way it motivates me even more to persevere and bring more awareness to it.

What advice do you have for individuals who are interested in exploring conscious dating but are unsure where to start?

My advice is start with what you know. And in the process you’ll discover more of it. And do not give up at the first failure. Before I met my husband, in between my devastating breakup with my ex and until I met him I spent a few years learning about conscious dating and relationships and how I could design a relationship I wanted with a kind of partner I wanted. I also dated multiple men and made many mistakes, some of which I described above and being heartbroken again and again before I found the right one for me. What I noticed in this process was that it took less time to get over and move on as I embarked more and more in the process of conscious dating. And one last thing that could be very motivating for the readers is that as soon as I fully implemented the conscious dating approach, the guy I wanted, wanted me even more and here we are today, together for almost 9 years, married almost 6 and having our love and sex life better than ever, even through raising 2 kids (they are 12 and 4), going through pregnancy, birth and having a baby and going through covid and multiple other challenges along the way. So my advice is be brave and shine your truth into the world and the world will respond to you to match your true desires. Because being truly yourself is the only path to happiness. 

Are you planning to offer seminars for people who are interested to learn more how to navigate their love life?

I have already offered online seminars, workshops and classes for years and since recently also in person, here in Athens, but also in Greece and in the region so far. Last year I guided a Conscious Dating workshop at a big consciousness and intimacy festival in the Balkans. This year I am focusing more on speaking events and retreats. I hosted a talk with Q&A in January for a private group of foreign women in Athens on the topic: Healthy Relationship Blueprint for Modern Times. In May I will be hosting a Womb Circle to Balance fFeminine and MAsculine Energy in Impact Hub in Athens in collaboration with Home Away from Home (xpat.gr), as already mentioned. Next year, I am invited to facilitate a workshop at a 4 day holistic seminar in France and in the meantime I am organizing my own retreats in Greece for the first time. I am looking forward to bringing more of the similar in person workshops in Athens and all over Greece together with collaborators who focus on working with expats and repats. It feels so good to finally be able to offer in person seminars after the long era of covid and settling down in Greece. 

Ana Kosta

Website: https://www.anakostacoaching.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/anakosta.coach/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/anakostacoaching/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ana-kosta

1 Comment

  • - xpat.gr 13 May 2024

    […] workshop titled “Balance Your Feminine and Masculine Energy,” hosted by the dynamic duo Ana Kosta and […]

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