I’m in California looking at the ocean and taking some time to reflect on this year. From moving to Bali to meeting and hanging out with Richard Branson at Necker to sitting for my first Ayahuasca ceremony, 2017 turned out to be a year of surprises, massive growth, and setting the stage for 2018 in a big way.
Because sharing more of my personal journey with you is one of my goals, I’ve decided to start a bit early and share with you my top 5 highlights of the year and the lessons they taught me.
Moving to Bali
What was originally a trip to celebrate my birthday turned into the decision to relocate and one of the best life choices that I’ve ever made. On the morning of my 33rd birthday, I found myself watching the sunrise at the top of a volcano not far from Ubud and knowing with every fiber in my being that I was home. That 'knowing' was everything but rational but I decided to listen to it.
That feeling initiated what was to become a time of transition and it looked like the Universe and my former partner agreed because it took me just 6 days to make the Bali - Hong Kong - Bali move almost seamlessly. I’ve spoken about my Bali experience at length in another post so I won’t elaborate much further but will say that Bali taught me to appreciate simplicity and to slow down. It helped me strip away layers of my ego that were getting in the way of my continued growth and gave me friendships that I will treasure forever.
The Lesson? Life will always make sure you learn what you need to learn and all those lessons won’t necessarily come from big struggles. It’s good to pay attention to things when they’re working too. What is meant for you flows. Your job is to get your mindset and your actions to align and facilitate that flow making sure you get out of your own way. Your biggest ally in that effort is your gut. Always trust your gut.
The Explosive Growth of Meuf on Top
Just a little over two years ago when I was still living in Paris, I had an idea as I reflected on how many incredible women I knew. My life was made richer by every single one of these connections and I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I created a space to share them with each other… To see what would happen when a very diverse and powerful group of women from different backgrounds and countries were given the opportunity to share ideas and resources with each other with no specific goal in mind other than to grow.
Thankfully and much to my surprise, the results have been fantastic! We are a community that has grown from 83 women in 4 countries to almost 500 in 15. Just this year alone we grew 480%. We speak 7 different languages and have members ranging from ages 17 - 92. We host themed gatherings in different cities across the globe and have become a tribe of women that operates in a highly conscious, open-minded and loving way. Everyone of these ladies works hard to make their community better and to be a better human.
I couldn’t be more proud of the caliber of woman I see the group attracts but also of the fact that the group has grown far beyond the extension of my own personal network and into a truly global community!
On a professional front, Meuf on Top has allowed me to gather insight into what women are thinking and how to be a better coach. The group has also afforded me the opportunity to test out new content ideas and develop new offerings designed based on the feedback that I’ve been able to gather.
The lesson? Almost everything/everyone in our lives can teach us something about how to run our businesses better. Inspiration is everywhere so follow your curiosity, you never know where it may lead you and what you could learn from it.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this, I started the group almost as a social experiment and boy has it proven to have been a good idea! I unknowingly created a platform that enhances my business by giving me valuable input about one of my biggest market segments and have created a global network of allies for Namasme. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN STRONG WOMEN DECIDE TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER. I’m looking forward to seeing the continued organic growth of the group and if you’re reading this and want to join, to seeing an invite request from you on Facebook. To join, click here!
I was invited to Necker by someone who I admire deeply, my friend and founder of Supershe, Kristina Roth. As a business woman, Kristina was able to do what few can… She came to this country with a laptop and a dream and in less than 10 years built and sold one of the fastest growing companies in the United States according to Forbes magazine. She’s bold, brilliant, and has a huge heart.
I met Kristina in Paris in 2016 just as she was beginning her new project Supershe and was looking to connect with like-minded women doing interesting things in the world. During our interview we hit it off and ended up spending the day together and having a great time. We kept in touch and as as fate would have it, less than a year later, Kristina would invite me to Necker, not knowing that Richard Branson has been one of my heroes for as long as I can remember. Naturally I jumped on the opportunity and it turned out to be a spectacular trip.
For five days I was surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds from Silicon Valley, European tech, Venture Capital, Fashion, world renowned scholars and athletes, 500 flamingos, lemurs, and a very vigilant tortoise. We ate, we laughed, we danced, we sang, we were outdoors all day, and we talked about life and spirituality. We talked about the world, what is coming, and how to do our part to make it a better place.
I had the opportunity to talk to get to know Richard and observe him in his natural habitat and much to my delight was able to confirm that everything that I’d thought about him prior to our meeting was correct. He is a wonderful human being and full of life and in his 70’s keeps his staff of twenty somethings on their toes with his energy and enthusiasm. More importantly, I noticed that he had two traits in common with everyone I met there...They didn't take themselves too seriously (as the merman tail in the picture suggests) and were all solutions minded and forward thinking. If something needed to be done, the question was never ‘if’ but ‘how’. That stuck with me.
I left Necker full of fire and inspired to grow Namasme. How? I wasn't quite sure at the time. I just knew that I wanted to have a deeper and more meaningful impact on the world and I had plenty of inspiration and references of just how possible is it to make it happen. Now that I have a better of idea of what I will be doing in 2018, I 'm literally counting down the days till January!
The Lesson? It’s important to surround yourself with people who push you to stretch yourself in all ways, physically, intellectually, emotionally. People who are creating their own path with courage and who are committed to something bigger than themselves. People who are curious, talented, and satisfied without being complacent. People who don't believe in convention because it yields conventional results. Those who understand that you’re never too small to have an impact if you have a vision and a plan, the energy to see it through, and the humility to listen and to know that regardless of how successful you are, you will forever have something to learn.
Necker and my Necker ‘familia’, without knowing it taught me how to dream bigger than I previously given myself permission to do. For that I will be forever thankful and oh so ready for the goodness coming in 2018.
***Unfortunately, it looks like we were one of the last groups to visit Necker this year since it, along with the rest of the BVI’s and much of the Caribbean were decimated by Hurricane Irma. If you’re reading this and would like to get involved in the relief effort for the BVI’s, please visit: www.bvihelp.com to see how you can help.***
Launching Our Youtube Channel
I won't lie, there are days where I miss my showbiz career. Days when I miss doing work that impacts a large group of people, not just those I have immediate and personal access to. Days when I remember how delicious it is to use my creativity for a good cause as we did on television with the Nenaemboscada. Because of that, earlier this summer we launched our Youtube channel and though it's till very much in it's nascent phase and the recovering perfectionist inside of me is still a bit uncomfortable with the production quality of what we've put out so far because we were literally filming in the jungle, I'm proud of the subject matter that we covered, the over 2,200 views we have, and our 69 subscribers.
That said, we plan on growing the Namasme online footprint in 2018 and will be making the Namasme Media Youtube channel a priority. This means more content, less roosters in the background, and more fun and engaging topics so join us and subscribe or send us a note if you have any content ideas that you would like to see us explore to firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Lesson? Done is better than perfect. Sometimes you just have to jump and adjust as you go.
Sitting For My First Ayahuasca Ceremony
I'd heard a lot about the life changing experiences that friends had had with Ayahuasca for years and always knew it was something that I wanted to experience but only under the right circumstances. I strongly believe that journeys with plant medicine are to be taken seriously, done responsibly, and in a safe environment. Opening the doors of perception can be an incredibly healing experience but also a scary one and for that reason I waited until I found the right opportunity and the right people to sit with 'grandmother'.
The ceremony allowed me to experience a feeling of 'Oneness' I'd never felt before. I'd understood it conceptually but there was something about being in nature that night that made me feel at a cellular level that we're all a part of something bigger and that we really do depend on each other to live harmoniously with each other and with our planet.
The lesson? Neither we, or anything that we do ever really exist in isolation and as such, we carry a tremendous responsibility to ensure that we are the best versions of ourselves so that we can be wise and humble enough to tread lightly on this earth. Every decision that we make matters. Every decision that we make gives us an opportunity stand for the world that we want to see and for the love that we want to embody.
Purpose isn't something that you find of that you should spend your time chasing. Purpose is something that you can infuse into every day of your life by making every act sacred...by making every act stand for something. By being conscious of the fact the very fact that you're breathing is a gift. If you choose to live this way, you'll find that life will show you where to go.
***Please note that this is NOT and endorsement of Ayahuasca or any plant medicine. My intention in this post is not to encourage you to go down this path. That decision is solely yours and plant medicine isn't for everyone and can have serious physical and emotional consequences. It is NOT meant to be a recreational activity. If you do decide to do so, however, please make sure you do what you can to ensure you'll have a safe and fulfilling experience***
My hope in sharing with you these highlights is to encourage you to take some time and reflect on what you learned this year. If you do, you are embracing a growth mindset and are putting yourself in the position to embrace what's next by having both feet firmly planted in the knowledge of where you stand.
So, what would your top 5 be for 2017?
***(I chose 'How to Fly' By Sticky Fingers as the song for this post because while everyone else on the planet had Despacito on repeat, this was my JAM for most of the year. There is something about its vibe that I find incredibly infectious. Enjoy!)***