Mona Green

Celebrating a Win with Tamara Mellon

A couple of weeks ago when I had the opportunity to co-facilitate two workshops at Tamara Mellon with my college friend and fellow coach Carol for Tamara herself and most of the staff of the company. The topic? How to Silence Your Inner Critic. From a professional and personal perspective, that was a big day for me and worthy of some celebration. Why?

Firstly, Tamara Mellon is a company dedicated to making beautiful things, yes… but it’s also one that uses its platform to advocate for gender equality, women’s empowerment, and other social justice issues like immigration. It’s a luxury brand that actually cares about more than just profit and to me, that’s a beautiful thing. Why? Because sometimes we forget that beauty is a language. A powerful one at that and one that can be leveraged positively to shift our perception when used mindfully. In an industry notorious for not caring about or ignoring the bigger issues, they’re purposefully going there… even if it means raising some eyebrows and losing a customer or two. In times like these, courage is it’s own form of currency and these ladies are making investments where it matters most.

Secondly, the people we worked with! I deeply admire Tamara as a human, creative mind, and tenacious business woman. What she did as founder of Jimmy Choo and what she’s doing today with her team with this, her namesake brand is nothing short of remarkable. The fact that Jill, the company’s CEO, was who reached out to bring our workshop to their people speaks volumes about how they care and invest in the well being of their employees and the quality of their leadership.

Thirdly, it was a great reminder of how good it feels to work with companies who I feel are aligned with my values and that some beautiful doors are opening for me at this point in the life of Namasme and lastly, it gave me an opportunity to merge my music with my work once again…blurring the line between both just a little bit more and in the process making me a happy little clam. This is good and giving me all sorts of crazy ideas of what I want to do/create moving forward. Stay tuned y’all. This is bound to get all sorts of weird and wonderful.

Namasme.

1 European Prince, 60 Silicon Valley VC’s, 21 Creative Visionaries, 1 Magical House in San Francisco and Yours Truly… This is What Happened.

Things in the land of Namasme keep getting sweeter and sweeter. The clients and work that are coming our way get progressively more fun and interesting and our intention to collaborate more this year is bearing some beautiful fruit. Case in point—a week and half ago I had the opportunity to co-lead and facilitate a conversation (well, a songversation really) on the future of money and prosperity with 60 of the brightest and most influential minds on the planet at a dinner hosted by Prince Constantijn of Holland.

The theme? Tomorrowland— a glimpse into our world during the year 2119 and how we got there. The venue, Tao Haus, a beautiful creative sanctuary in San Francisco became a one-night museum dedicated to telling the story of the shifts we made to create a more beautiful, sustainable, and prosperous future for our planet. How I ended up there? Well, that’s a story worthy of it’s own post. Let’s just say that serendipity and I are on friendly terms these days. (Special shout out to Nicolas Alcala and Seth Bunting!)

Seeing as the house was transformed into a museum, each of the 5 common areas where guests were received was turned into an interactive exhibit of some sort. As I mentioned before, I was given responsibility to cover the future of prosperity… to a room packed with people who have mastered the language of money and who had thoughts of their own on the subject and in some cases clearly communicated them publicly…People who in the last two or three decades have helped shape that very same conversation in this country and worldwide.

To say that I was intimidated would be the understatement of the year. That said, I’ve always liked a good challenge and I decided that this was an opportunity for me to rise to the occasion, to possibly have a positive impact, and to have some fun while doing so. I had enough research and contemplation under my belt to feel prepared to carry at least an informed conversation so I jumped in with both feet.

Our 60 guests were divided into smaller groups of 12 for each session. I didn’t want to go down the traditional route when thinking of the structure of mine so I came up with a concept where I would be an AI robot that embodied the consciousness of money in the year 2119. The idea was that we would have a sort of inspired Q&A with participants and to let the evolving relationship/conversation dynamic determine the direction of each session. This gave me the opportunity to be a little cheeky in my interactions with our guests to ensure that everyone was having a good time discussing what is usually a very serious subject.

I reached out to Lukaijah, a friend of mine who is a prolific spoken word and hip hop artist and together we wrote a song/rap that I would perform at the end of each session. (see vid below) To add a cherry on top, as we drew closer to the event, I was joined by Bear, an improv genius, solid guitar player, and proper expert on the topic of finance as a collaborator for the session as co-leader. To complement my robot self, he would play the role of a futuristic yet medieval-like troubadour to serve as the musical glue and comedic relief in our effort to stimulate conversation. The result was incredible!

We led our guests in a discussion that encouraged them to participate… to take ownership of the fact that they were in a key position to create a more prosperous future for all. To ask themselves how many of their peers (and themselves) they knew to be genuinely fulfilled and happy—big houses, yachts, islands and all. To realize that being wealthy and prosperous are two very different things and that a better, brighter future would require us to focus on the latter and not the former… That our current societal zero-sum mindset combined with destination consciousness sets us up to never ‘make it’ and to always be afraid and feel like we’ll never have enough… and isn’t that exhausting?

The key question we focused our discussion on was:

What role did you play in creating the more beautiful future that we know is possible?

What I loved about this question is that it compelled our participants to A) assume and admit the big responsibility they have as key players in the development of the future of the world and B) to open their hearts by allowing themselves to be guided by a positive vision… to philosophize a bit rather than offer overtly logical or linear present based thinking… To switch gears and not engage in a problem solving exercise but rather in the creation of an overarching Vision and reverse engineer from there.

It was truly magical to see moment when some of our participants realized that in order for this exercise to work, they had to engage their deeper purpose, open their hearts, and to allow themselves to perhaps not offer tangible solutions to problems but to instead work with us to dream a bit. Their faces softened, their posture changed and their voices took on a different tone. From the feedback I got from our guests, it proved to be a useful and inspiring exercise. As far as I was concerned, mission accomplished!

As for me? Well, I learned that:

  1. Art is a universal language and a very potent one at that.

  2. An engaged mind is a beautiful thing to witness in action. An engaged mind at the service of an open heart? That’s the reason we’re all here.

  3. Good improvisation requires two key components: 1) presence 2) trust. If you’re present, the energy of the space will guide you. If you trust yourself and the moment, you allow others to do the same and you can turn whatever it is that you’re doing into a fun co-creation.

This dinner served as confirmation for me that I will never stop being amazed by people. I can genuinely say that collaborating with such incredible folks changed something in me. When we surround ourselves with people who inspire us and who push us to think bigger, love harder, and be more open, we flourish. This also applies to the ideas we entertain in our daily lives. Are we investing our energy wisely in the thoughts we entertain and the work that we do or are we allowing our mind to hang out in the gutter? Are we finding ways to connect and to grow together or are we, in our search for significance and individuation, losing ourselves and each other?

At the end of the day, creating what you want to see more of in the world is infinitely more energizing and efficient than fighting against what you don’t. We did a video of that not too long ago but it never hurts to remember that as Buckminster Fuller so eloquently phrased it,

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

I truly believe this is our task moving forward if we are to be successful in creating a new paradigm for the planet. Will you join me?

Namasme.

*** The photo for this post was taken by David Redish. You can find him on Instagram at @redishd***

Feeling Whole

feeling whole.jpg

As a society we’re anxious and addicted. 🍸🚬🍫💋📱

One of the reasons we’re so anxious is our almost compulsive desire to control... To control our environment, our journey, our emotions, and if we’re being really honest, at times the people we interact with. Why do we do this though?

It all stems from a lack of trust and feeling of wholeness within ourselves. When we seek in the external to source what we yearn to feel inside, we will always fall short. We will never be satisfied because we’re aiming at a moving target…. Just ask anyone who got ‘the job’, ‘the house’, ‘the body’ how they feel 6 months later. 🤔

Rather than look at our anxiety squarely in the face, we routinely numb, distract, and disconnect from ourselves thinking it will disappear.

We drink too much, spend hours on our phones mindlessly scrolling, eat crap that will stimulate just the right pleasure receptors in our brain so we don’t have to actually feel what we’re feeling, and date people we aren’t interested in to pass the time… but the anxiety always comes back. ALWAYS.

Why?

Because we haven’t dealt with the root cause of it all so we’ll never be able to drink, smoke, eat, or fuck it away. Because it’s all about us and our perception of ourselves. Because to make it go away we need to understand where it’s coming from in the first place and in order to do so we have to open doors that are painful.

We have to learn to sit with our discomfort and learn what it’s been trying to tell us all along. We have to let go of this notion that we can actually control anything other than the way we react to what life throws at us. We have to embrace the fact that we have a responsibility to ourselves above all else and most importantly, we have to focus more on the process rather than the idea in your head about what it ‘should already look like by now’.

When we do, we’ll start seeing that much of our strife isn’t actually real but a product of the stories we’ve decided either consciously or subconsciously to tell. We’ll see that we have a choice to adopt a new narrative and we’ll see the Truth in choosing to run with the one where as the protagonist we’re already whole...Not perfect, just whole.

On that day, you’ll no longer need to numb out or sedate yourself because your anxiety won’t own you anymore. She’ll visit once in a while but her trips will be shorter and fewer and farther in between. You’ll start seeing her as a friend rather than foe because she’ll remind you to remember who you really are and to re-commit to yourself to your process. You’re already whole baby, you just have a tendency to forget that.

Now put that in your pipe and smoke it! 😉

On This Thanksgiving, Chew on This.

This is the story of my favorite part of my solo cross-country road trip, one of my most recent failures, and ultimately one of the most profound lessons I learned all year...

I share it with you today in hopes that you'll have a quiet moment in all the holiday madness to give some thought to the question of where your privilege plays a role in your life and how it can get in the way of being a better ally to people you may want to help or be of service to.

White folks, this one’s especially for you. ;)

While most of us are celebrating today as a holiday focused on family and gratitude, we must not forget that to our Native American brothers and sisters today is seen as a day of mourning. So let's do ourselves a big favor and yes, celebrate what to many of us this holiday stands for but let's not do so conveniently forgetting that to many this day commemorates the beginning of a still continuing oppression of their people.

The whitewashing of our history is unacceptable for many valid reasons. One often overlooked reason because the painfully clear injustice of it all takes center stage? If we don't know or even acknowledge what really happened and how it still affects our country today, how will we ever grow from it? How will we ever make it right?

Would love to hear your opinion on this one folks. Do share!