Hi. My name is Duda Baldwin. I’m 41 years old. I grew up in Germany and Croatia where I finished Uni with a double degree. I then packed my stuff and moved to London for over 11 crazy years. In 2009, I started an online business that provided for a lovely lifestyle in London and my extensive traveling around the world. In 2016 I went to Bali to write my book, with only one desire: not to be the next “Eat, Pray, Love” love story. I dramatically failed. I met my husband in Ubud and am now married, a stepmom to two cheeky little boys and live in sunny Australia.
WHY SHOULD I TAKE YOUR ADVICE?
You shouldn’t. Unless you want to or it hits home. I encourage you to think for yourself. The whole point of this blog is to talk freely about taboos most people feel uncomfortable or issues that most people would find inappropriate to raise. You can like or dislike what I write. As long as it interests you, both options are good.
WHY DO YOU WRITE ABOUT THESE TOPICS?
For as long as I remember, I occupied my brain with social topics. I wrote about it in school, talked about it with my friends and endlessly debated it with my father over family dinners. I eventually ended up earning a degree in Sociology and later on became a life coach. The biggest motivation for this blog is the existence of taboos. Why do we still have restrictions talking about what we desire to talk about, how does this serve us as a society and personally. I love talking about raw life, and the experiences we all have yet we are judged when we try to discuss them. Sex is a good example, but there are so many of these “controversial” topics. You can check them on my articles section. I love questioning conformism, traditional systems, and values that I find outdated, harmful and wrong. I love sharing my opinions as I feel I can contribute a little to the world and raise some eyebrows. That doesn’t mean I think I am right or better than.
And lastly. I write for the love of writing.
YOUR PHILOSOPHY SOUNDS CONTROVERSIAL, WHAT’S UP?
Everything and nothing.
As a sociologist, and over the last 30 years or so I observed a considerable disagreement growing within me with how the world is set up. I, therefore, studied it all to see how and why we set it all up as we did. A lot has to do with abuse of power instead of power to serve, greed and ego. These foundations of our current society entered all parts of the systems we are part of; schooling, raising our kids, choosing our careers, partners, our own values and beliefs.
Some of the synonyms for controversy are disagreement, dispute, argument, debate. So yes, in that sense, my views of the society are controversial to some, refreshing to others and damn right to like-minded readers.
I sincerely believe that the world needs controversy. We need to shake the dormant values we live by and start questioning it. We need to start asking ourselves why do we have to do certain things and not others. We are obliged to ourselves, our children and human kind not to nod our heads blindly as we had to in medieval times, but to speak up and use our freedom of thinking and freedom of speech, if our society is to be democratic at all. Confrontation should be welcomed and not doomed.
WHAT'S YOUR CREDIBILITY?
Credibility in the traditional sense such as degrees is not something I value as much as I appreciate walking the talk and being an example.
But here you have it.
I have a double degree in Sociology and Croatian Culture which was acknowledged as a triple MA degree in sociology, Slavistic and modern history by one of the top Universities in Germany (University of Erlangen) I was then offered a Ph.D. in Sociology, on the topic of social discrimination at age 26. I forfeit my Ph.D. simply because I didn’t feel that academia is an environment I’d like to be part of. Too many egos to stroke for my taste.
In 2014 I took vows as a Tibetan Buddhist and undertook rigorous studies under one of the Tibetan Buddhist Lamas. I finished a 2 years course and am continuing this journey with an additional 5 years study under the wings of the Tibetan Lamas.
I am also currently studying towards a diploma in counseling with the Australian Institue of Professional Counsellors.
I’m fluent in 3 languages and have basic knowledge of 2 more that I learned for my own amusement.
WALKING THE TALK:
As a child and teenager, I was a professional singer and dancer, being the leading soloist of large ensembles and traveled the world for competitions we regularly won. I was also a performing songwriter/singer with a few bands I was part of. I still record some songs for fun.
So far, I’ve lived in 4 different countries and traveled to almost 40.
I started my first business as a foreigner, in competitive London, literally sleeping on my friend’s couch, struggling for food and in a bad mental condition due to heartbreak and depression. Within 2 years I turned it into a 6 figure business that is still rolling, employing people. I won some fantastic global companies as my clients. I had no money and no connections when I started. I only had my personality to pull it all off.
I recovered from a lot of suffering. Bullying, homelessness, unhealthy relationships, alcohol overuse, workaholism, depression, lack of self-esteem to name a few and all this while building my business. I raise this only because I believe that true understanding of life comes through living through failures. I also embrace failures as stepping stones to success. Not easy to do, but it’s possible.
In addition to all my studies, I read at least 1 book a week. From Stoicism, Buddhist philosophy, parenting, step-parenting, to the leading spiritual and self-help books. If I could get paid for reading books, I’d be rich and happy.
Because I had many requests to teach how to overcome the suffering and lead a successful and meaningful life, I started out as a life coach. Today I’m a transformational and somewhat controversial coach. I teach people basic Buddhist principles that can help them save their sanity. I am known to kick ass and create a shift in all my work.