This week, I emailed the Dalai Llama.
Why? In my entrepreneurship mastermind, my clients and I are talking about “going big”. On our last call, one client shared a story from his weekend at a personal development seminar. The facilitator asked people to raise their hand if they were just three degrees of separation away from Oprah. Next, people raised their hand if they were three degrees of separation away from a state senator. On the facilitator went, listing major influencers — and people were raising their hands for each one! We sometimes stick with the people we know, rather than making bold moves to get our ideas/products/book in front of influencers.
I’m doing final interviews for my forthcoming book, Life Beyond Should, and needed someone to weigh in on the chapter about dharma. Why not the Dalai Llama?
The Dalai Llama hasn’t gotten back to me yet, but I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep working my contacts to see if I can get him on the phone. In the meantime, however, I did secure an interview with a buddhist who lived in a cave for 13 years — three of those years in total isolation.
Pretty cool, right?
This is your reminder to go big. Ask for what you want and watch what you create!
A few other notes for you:
2020 Retreats: In 2020, we’ll have retreats to countries that start with a “D,” “G,” “I,” and “P.” Can you guess which ones? If you haven’t seen the video from our Dominican Republic or India retreats, definitely check them out! We will announce our 2020 retreats next week!
Authentic Leadership Group Program: Want to elevate your leadership? Add authenticity. Read more about my year-long program here.
Have you tried virtual coworking yet? If not, reply to this email and I’ll set you up with one free month!
New episode on The Thriving Creator Podcast: I speak with Emma Mankey Hidem, Founder & CEO of Sunnyside Virtual Reality, about making the transition from day job to entrepreneurship. We cover the topics of procrastination, being honest about your weak points, assessing your weak spots, legal contracts, and more. Listen here.
Embrace the adventure,
I had a great conversation with Kelly Lewis, founder of the travel company Damesly and the annual Women’s Travel Fest.
We talked about:
*Finding your purpose
*Getting connected to the big reason WHY you do what you do
*Pivoting from a 9-5 to the world of entrepreneurship
*Going ALL IN to create leaps forward in your bizListen here.
Kelly is also a member of my Virtual Coworking Community. If you haven’t tried our virtual coworking, reply to this email! I’ll set you up for a free, 1-month trial! People say these sessions skyrocket their momentum and help them knock big to’do’s off their lists.
I know this interview with give you ideas and inspire you! Let me know if you check it out.
Also, stay tuned for the following:
1. May 15 – I’ll announce our 2020 PACK Retreats (we’ll have 4 incredible trips for you!)
2. May 15 – My private mastermind for entrepreneurs kicks off (Want to sign up? Let’s chat!)
2. June 15 – My Authentic Leadership Group Program kicks off (Interested? Email me!)
Embrace the Adventure,
When I meet successful people, I ask them what they’re reading. These recommended books on personal development and business led to massive momentum toward my goals.
In 2018, I read voraciously and saw big results. Below are some of my favorite books from the year in the categories of personal development, business development, and pure joy! Check them out.
Books for Personal Development
Awaken the Giant Within
Why read it? It’s time to stop making excuses and start creating the life you want.
Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised™
Why read it? You’re serious about shifting your money mindset.
The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It
Why read it? You struggle with imposter syndrome.
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
Why read it? You feel like you are heavily influenced by others emotions, behaviors, and needs.
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Why read it? You want to shift from one career to another.
Getting Real: Ten Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life
Why read it? You’re interested in open, honest, authentic communication
Books for Business
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
Why read it? You want a simple accounting system for your business that makes sure you have sustainable growth, get paid for the hard work you do, and have fun.
The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you
Why read it? You’re launching new products or programs and you need to know how to interview your ideal clients
By Michael E. Gerber – The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (1st Edition) (2.7.1995)
Why read it? You want a business model that’s replicable and can help you make good money without working around the clock
Books for Pleasure
The Name of the Wind
Why read it? You love a good fantasy novel
Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil & the Future of Africa’s Iconic Cats
Why read it? You’re interested in animal conservation and wildlife in Africa
What about Your Saucepans?
Why read it? You want to know more about Dominican culture.
As a blond foreigner, I get a lot of attention here in the Dominican Republic. I’m always hearing new pick up lines or comments designed to get my attention.
Some of my favorites (from this week):
*Would you like a private Uber driver?
*Oh, how God has blessed you!
*CITTAAAAA (short for “mamacita”… I think)
But here’s the thing: I really hated this attention when I arrived. And I hated it even more after six months. It’s not until recently that I developed a sense of humor about it. After that happened, I got to enjoy everything I LOVE about this country without all the stress of something I can’t control. What freedom!
This reminds me a LOT of starting my business.
When I began, the things I couldn’t control made me so uncomfortable. I had to CHOOSE to show up again and again until, one day, things felt slightly less scary. As time went on, the things that used to send me into a panic became no big deal.
This is the way the comfort zone works. When you commit to creating something new in your life (whether it’s living in a new culture or starting a business), you feel uncomfortable. Beginning is scary and staying with your decision can be even scarier! Your stress levels get higher until slowly — over time — the fear around the change subsides.
There’s a word for this: Acclimation (I talk a lot about this in my forthcoming book “Life Beyond Should”). Stay with what you’ve chosen and your comfort zone will expand.
This applies to SO MANY THINGS:
*Starting a new relationship after a really hard breakup
*Starting a business
*And a lot more
Have courage and stick with your process!
I hope the pickup lines I shared will remind you to keep your sense of humor in the face of your own challenges. Whatever you’re working on creating (or adjusting to), you will hit your stride.
Embrace the Adventure,
I am THRILLED to share the video from our January retreat to India! It captures the essence of the trip and some of my favorite memories, including:
1) A lightning storm at the taj mahal
2) Food that was like POETRY — complex, gorgeous, nuanced
3) Dancing with the locals
4) An amazing fire ceremony in Rishikesh (the Hindus do a ceremony every morning to wake up the Gods and every evening to bid them goodnight)
5) And more!
If you’d like to come on future trips, email me at email@example.com and I’ll add you to our PACK Retreats mailing list!
Embrace the Adventure,
P.S. Registration for our trip to the Dominican Republic closes tomorrow! This will be our LAST year in the DR, so make sure to register if you’ve been thinking about joining us!
I love how peering into other people’s worlds fuels our own inspiration and creativity. Lately, many of my clients have asked me about my day-to-day, so I wanted to share more in case anything I’m up to sparks something for you!
Here’s a glimpse into my life:
- Book I’m loving: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I listened to this three times over on my morning walks and it’s encouraged me to act NOW on my desires. If you need more NOW in your life or business, check it out.
- What I’m enjoying most about living in the Dominican Republic now: Eating pasteles de hoja — Dominican-style tamales. Here’s a recipe. You’re welcome.
- I’m terrified to commit FULLY to my passion project: I’m digging into the connection between African dances and solo vernacular jazz more deeply than ever (watch the dance I’m currently working on here). Because this is so close to my heart, I have a ton of resistance to following through. I procrastinate, make excuses, and — bottom line — don’t practice. So… I just hired a private African dance instructor to work with me virtually and in-person. I know this project in my heart needs to come out, and I need a lot of loving support to make sure it does! (P.S. This is YOUR reminder to get support for the passion projects that mean so much to you!).
- Cool new testimonial: I just love my client Yvette Gorman-Holmes from Grow Your Moxie Coaching. You can read it below.
- Masala Chai: All day every day. Since getting back from India, I can’t stop drinking it. Here’s the recipe I’m using. Try it for yourself!
- My book: Life Beyond Should is moving right along! I got edits back from my first readers and am incorporating more interviews with scientists. This will be a scientific, spiritual, and practical guide to embracing your authentic desires!
Stay tuned for more updates! And let me know if you try out the book or recipes!
Embrace the Adventure,
P.S. Here’s the testimonial from Yvette:
“Megan OVER-DELIVERS as a coach and keeps you accountable to what you say you want! Through our coaching together, I learned to boldly move through the inner whispers of fear and ego, as well to stop using shame to fuel my productivity. I discovered how to increase my drive in a way that builds my confidence, inspires me, and makes me feel loved and acknowledged. I raised my prices and got hired for what I’m worth, as well as created a new level of compassion, commitment, and desire in my 20-year marriage. Working with Megan has been a celebrated gift to myself. She is a driven, compassionate, fun-loving, super-organized, disciplined soul who helps you get results and leads by example in all she does.”
I sat down with Megan Taylor Morrison, business mentor for passion-preneurs, founder of Dance Adventures and a professional coach who works with clients to achieve holistic success.
We talk about how obstacles are an inevitable part of any journey, and ways for you to motivate yourself to walk right through them.
Megan offers so many insights and tools in this conversation- I can’t wait for you to watch!
Plus, we go over:
~(3:26) The 3 places we make decisions from + a tip to help us to remember how to show up powerfully in our lives
~(4:52) A somatic exercise for you to do with us to help shift your energy when you’re frustrated
~(16:30) How using an empowered pose can help you walk through things that are challenging you.
*Don’t miss out on an exercise that you can do with us that starts at 4:52
**Watch this TED Talk after to learn more about somatic exercises and power posing!
We’d love to hear how it goes, so share with us in a comment below:
~ What in your body or perception shifted from doing this exercise?
WANT MORE FROM MEGAN
Whether you’re looking for a business coach or looking for someone to guide you through a dance adventure – Megan can help! Learn more about Megan’s work here.
WITH LOVE AND POWER POSING,
About the Author
HIYA, I’M ELYSE!
I’m a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online programs. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I’m not doing squats and sun salutations, I’m dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives. Start moving with me today with these FREE stretch breaks you can do to feel more energized and aligned during your day! – stretchbreak.elysesparkes.com
English is my boyfriend Angel’s second language, and sometimes the expressions he creates are illuminating.
A few months ago, Angel really pissed me off…. and I lashed out. After a particularly animated fight, he said,
“You’re such a good person, but there’s a black spider that lives in your heart.” And you know what? He was right!
My sweet, loving boyfriend harassed that spider, and it bit him. Hard.
I wasn’t offended by Angel’s observation because he shared it without being judgmental. He wasn’t shaming me or making me the bad guy. He wasn’t trying to control me or that spider. He was simply sharing what he saw.
He shared his observation so lovingly that I was able to hear it…. and to show that black spider of mine some compassion. In the past when that spider came out, I would feel awful and berate myself for saying or doing something less than perfect. I’d over-associate with this black spider and wonder “Is this who I really am?”
Instead, I now ask: “What’s really going on here? What is the need I have that I’m not honoring? How does my spider need me to take care of myself so he can go back to sleep?”
It’s a lot easier to tame the black spider in our hearts when we understand that it’s just part of our humanity and a sacred indicator that something is missing.
How much compassion are you showing your spider this holiday season? Are you looking deeper when it shows up? And how much compassion are you having for friends and family when their spiders come out?
This isn’t your typical Christmas eve message, but it’s important nonetheless. Let’s be good to ourselves and each other as we wrap up this year!
Embrace the Adventure,