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Our Secret Potential

by Tessa Richter(more info)

listed in personal growth, originally published in issue 271 - June 2021

Our Secret Potential

by Tessa Richter


I've always been fascinated by what humans can accomplish and intrigued by what we term miracles. I remember, as a teenager, wondering how one could possibly compose such wonderful music as that which I was practising every day on the piano. Creating such music seemed for me at the time rather like flying to the moon: way beyond anything I could imagine for myself.

This fascination was the starting point for my lifelong journey during which I explored my own potential in the outer world through different professional and artistic pursuits, as well as through travel. In parallel, I pursued my inner journey through practices such as meditation, mindset and relaxation techniques, or on the drums of a Celtic shaman. This took me to places where I found inspiration and spirit.

Looking back, I can see how each of my careers was developing a specific aspect that belonged to me and exploited my human potential: in classical music it was about physical dexterity, a high level of artistic perfection and expression, combined with entering into other states of consciousness such as trance and ecstasy. After becoming a professional musician, it also became about dealing with the stress that comes with performing on a high level under pressure.

Tibet Image

My second career as a visual artist began with the urge to find what was inside of me without the constrictions I had been faced with when learning to express myself in classical music. The latter  had been rather like learning to communicate the most beautiful feelings, thoughts and spirit in someone else's language. Now I was keen to find my own language. I began painting and sculpting, connecting deep inside and experienced states of flow unlike anything I had experienced before. I found that place inside me that is transpersonal, connected to a greater universal intelligence, the place where inspiration and guidance come from. It was a deeply spiritual and fulfilling experience. I also learned about the language of images and symbols, the effect of colours and images on our physical and mental well-being. Images are powerful, I learned. They can be used to speak to us and inform us in ways words cannot, and they also transport energy, which can be used for healing and for motivation.

Creating like this, from deep inside, is stepping out of time and space as we know it. We enter into another dimension of being, where we feel safe and connected. Expressing without judgement about who we are in essence, has a deeply healing effect.

As a result of travelling to India, Nepal and the Indian Native Americans, I found that, historically and still today in non-Western countries, culture is closely linked to cult. In this connection, art and music are used for healing, to create a deep sense of community and connectedness, and to experience spirit. This is the original meaning of culture. Unfortunately, we have lost this connection which, I believe, is part of the reason why our world has become driven by external factors only: by the urge for safety in the material world, and the desire for money and power. With it comes a need to control our environment.

To bridge the gap between my experiences and the rational mind of the Western world, and to make what I had experienced and learned accessible to many, I began delving into modern physics as well as into new concepts in psychology: quantum physics, the theory of chaos and Jung's psychology to name a few.

In Quantum physics I found validation for the connection we all have beyond time and space. It is called the inter-connectedness of particles where, if a particle is given a certain information at one end of the world, the entangled particle on the other side of the world accesses the same information instantaneously, without any delay in time. I also found proof for the mindset techniques I had developed. It confirmed how what we focus on becomes real: quantum physics states that particles do not exist without being observed. They exist in a virtual state as a wave and become reality in our 3-dimensional world only when they are observed. The observer thus creates reality. What we focus on becomes reality – literally!

Jung's concept of synchronicity explains the world in a different way from what I learned when growing up. We were taught the law of cause and effect: if I do x, y is the result, the consequence. In synchronistic terms, however, reality exists like in the entanglement of quantum particles – simultaneously. Events are linked together not by cause and effect but by happening at the same time. We have all experienced the situation where we think of someone,  the phone rings and it's that very person.

All my life I have been teaching what I learned and discovered on my explorations and inner journeys. It has been a great way to test and validate my findings on as many people as possible. At the same time, I have always loved inspiring others to fulfil their unique purpose using their own potential. I have come to realize that there is that individual potential unique to each one of us, and that there are skills we as humans have not learned, either because they are deemed unreliable, such as intuition and instinct, or because they were reserved for an elite such as priests and shamans: our direct access to spirit.

Through observing myself as well as my extremely varied clients, including musicians, artists, professionals, specialists and C-level executives, I discovered that there are different triggers that activate our hidden potential. Sometimes it comes as an inner urge that there is more to my life. At other times, life brings us something unexpected, either positive or negative. It can be an offer you would never have dreamed of, or, more frequently, it is the loss of a person or a job, or perhaps an illness. Life has a way of nudging us and sometimes pushing us beyond what we think we can endure.

Yet, I also found that in these times of hardship, life is there for us. If we can see its outstretched hand, and take it, it can help us get through any crisis. Unlike what I had been brought up to believe, I now know that life is always on my side. I have learned to trust it to help us become who we are meant to be. This is important in today's world in flux, where so many of us are experiencing a deep crisis. Let us look at our own personal challenges and those we are facing on a global level, as life and the universe helping us open up undreamed of possibilities, taking us to another level of our human potential.

To illustrate how I see life operating, let me share two stories of my own life.

30 years after asking myself how anyone could possibly compose such wonderful music, I found myself creating my own music in a unique process of combining composition and improvisation and publishing 3 CDS.

I had never actively set out to become a composer. Rather, I had followed that inner pulse of my life without knowing where it would take me. During my international career as a performing musician, I learned some basics about musical language. As a visual artist, I learned to explore my very own form of creativity and artistic language. In India, Nepal and with the Lakota native Americans I learned other musical languages and the use of music in a sacred context. In another thread that life wove into my fabric of creating, I found a book in Boston, where I was studying music. And through a series of ingenious and highly unlikely events, this led to my participating in a workshop for improvisation on the piano: the actual physical trigger to creating my own music. These are only some of the milestones that life brought to me, enabling me to create my very own music, after being in awe of classical composers.

It took 30 years and was a lesson in how life leads us in a non-linear way to deploy our very own potential, sometimes over the course of a lifetime, and shows how we can then find ourselves going beyond anything we could ever have dreamed of.

My second story is an example of how a crisis led to purpose. Several years ago, I got seriously ill, making me question everything I had done until then. Why was this happening, if I was living a life on track, on purpose, as I had always believed? It was another piece of the puzzle. This was an existential turning point. I realized that when we don't use all of our potential the unused potential is like energy that goes stale and can cause us to become sick. Applying everything I had learned and allowing life to take me by the hand, I was not only healed, but it was also the start of a new career. For the last 10 years I've been coaching professionals, specialists, and C-level executives who have lost their jobs, are facing health issues or wish to take their leadership skills to the next level.

Home Page 2 Covers Our Secret Potential

It is these findings of a lifetime that I have written down in my second book. I hope it will inspire many more of you than I could reach personally, to go on this worthwhile journey. It is called Our secret potential – a new approach to purpose, performance and well-being in the 21st century. I had been working on it for 5 years and, synchronistically, it has come at a particularly relevant time during the current global crisis.

For those of you wishing to explore not only the ideas and concepts, but dive deeper into a process of transformation, I have created different programmes: one with my workbook and personal contact, and another with an online course entitled Leading Crisis into Purpose, due to launch second half of June.

When you discover your secret potential and learn new skills, not only will you overcome your own crisis, but you will also be able to lead the way towards a more purposeful and sustainable future for others.


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About Tessa Richter

Tessa Richter, of Anglo-German origin, lives in Switzerland where nature is an integral part of her life.  She has been a professional classical musician, a composer, a painter and sculptor, a music and language teacher and a career and personal coach.  What is even more extraordinary, is that she has been a top performer in each of these areas.  She is currently a career coach for high-level business people, including CEOs, who are seeking help at a pivotal time in their careers. Tessa is a regular speaker on performance and well-being at corporate events and health symposia. Please contact Tessa via  

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