Hi, I'm Karinna Forlenza

is an entrepreneur, mentor, coach, public speaker, TEDx speaker and writer. She went to Business School at Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP).

Has a graduate degree in Art Therapy from the Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho State University and a university extension course in Organizational Management for the Third Sector from Medical School at the University of São Paulo (FMUSP) in partnership with the Institute for the Development of Investment (IDIS), a course in Corporate Responsibility from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), a Business Management course from IESE Business School, (University of Navarra in Madrid) and  a Management Course for High Potential Leaders from Dom Cabral Foundation. She has an international certification in Ontological Coaching by NewField International Education, with Dr. Rafael Echeverria, and has been internationally certified for three years in Cultural Biology by the Matriztica School in Santiago, Chile, with Professor Humberto Maturana. She has participated in a number of workshops, self-knowledge and personal development courses, including Private’s Intensive with David Deida in Ojai, California, Marie Forleo’s BSchool in New York, and Money Bootcamp with Denise Duffield-Thomas in Australia. She studied Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) for CMM for Personal and Social Evolution, USA, with Dr. Linda Blong, and attended Polarity Teacher’s Training with Michalea Boehm in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is the only South American graduate in Gender Intelligence Coaching at the Mars and Venus Coaching Institute with Dr. John Gray, best-selling author and expert in the series “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.

Some more About me

The issue of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man, both personally and in society, has been present in my life since I was very little. Although born as a beautiful, biologically perfect little girl, I was raised as a boy, and for a long time my life mostly revolved around that. I never doubted that I was female, but the truth is that “being a boy”, or rather being treated as a boy, and even being mistaken for one, was convenient for a long time. It was safer to be a boy, it was much more comfortable. This became even clearer when I went through an experience that shook me very deeply and overwhelmed me with sadness. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one to experience it and it happens every day, especially to girls. During the transition from childhood to adolescence, when I was around 11 years old and my body was becoming more feminine, I suffered abuse. More than once and by men I trusted, male family members.

I was unable to deal with it at the time, and I tried to cope with the pain by trying to live up to what was expected of me. I tried to please and impress my father by taking a college entrance examination for Business Administration, the career that a “perfect son” would study (in my head of course). Gradually, perhaps for the sake of survival or self-defense, the painful facts of my puberty were swept under the carpet of unconsciousness. I only remembered at the age of 26 what had happened in my puberty, and this helped explain what I felt (but not to get rid of): an unexplained rage and aggressiveness. And while I tried to protect myself from this thing I was unaware about, I sought to be relevant in the market, where once again “masculinizing” in attitudes and thoughts was good and resulted in career advancement and success.

I worked in the financial market and became a successful businesswoman in the corporate world, but also I set about healing myself. I found two great paths: the first was to authorize myself to be a woman. I underwent therapy to deal with the trauma, and I also decided to  learn more about what it was by taking courses, attending women’s groups, attending sacred feminine workshops, studying, reading a lot, and using myself as a laboratory for self-discovery. The second way was to spy on the other side, that is, to try to understand men. And what I found changed my perspective and ushered in a universe of possibilities. What happens on the other side? Why are they the way they are? Where do their behaviors, that are so often aggressive, violent and abusive, come from? What is it on their journey that enables this conformity? What’s more, how are we approaching – or distancing ourselves – from them in our daily lives?

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It was a quest to understand more about how men and women co exist in the workplace, family, relationships, friendship, affection, and about how much we are in it together to create better relationships. I realized we have all stepped onto terrain with many communication problems, that create environments with very little trust, a lot of fear and an abyss that makes us feel very distant and divided. And what is the use of thinking that on one side are men, almost like criminals, sitting on their thrones of power, and on the other side are women, in an unequal struggle for their rights that seems to have no end? This divisiveness caused pain for me and for everyone. There had to be a solution, a synthesis.

All of this motivated me to study more and more and to delve into understanding the  nature of men and women and also how the masculine and feminine aspects within men and women can help in self-knowledge. I looked for training and certification with important people in the area, such as Michaela Boehm, David Deida, Humberto Maturana, John Gray and others and began to systematically divulge what I learned about it. I started coaching and lecturing to help people on my own team, I began working solo as coaching and speaker for other companies and professionals, and then developed a methodology. My ideas broadened and gained a wider scope and I stood on the stage of TEDxSão Paulo to talk about it.  I wrote and published my first book.

When I thought that I had overcome the barriers that had always prevented me from going further, I had to face a diagnosis that nobody ever wants to hear: cancer. Throughout the treatment, that turned out to be the longest and hardest journey I’ve faced so far, I was able to really revisit all my values and think of all people going through life and death situations. What really matters, and who really matters in life was crystal clear and clear to me. I decided that my priority would be to help people overcome their most difficult barriers. To not surrender themselves to difficulties and to improve the understanding of their differences, because what we consider to be “normal” does not exist. Our greatest wealth lies precisely in our differences. Today I am healed and happy to do the best I can:  help people to be themselves, feel welcomed in their differences, so that they can live with more peace, respect and harmony in this world.