Happy February from the land of Fifty and Fabulous! Yes, it’s true, I joined the big 5-OH Club last week. Friends threw me an epic birthday bash/book signing party at my loft in Chicago – and people I love, from nearly every chapter of my life since childhood, came out to celebrate. Some traveled from as far as Boston and Lake Tahoe to be here with me. It was one of those moments that really puts life (and deep friendship) into perspective.
The theme of the night (courtesy of my wildly creative friend Wendy) was: A Corporate Rebel’s Guide to Putting the F in Fifty. Fitting, right? I’m pretty sure we also put the Double-Fs in Fucking Fun. The last guests walked/stumbled out the door at 3:30am. How’s that for strutting into the next half century?! Take that Millennials. 😉
For shits and giggles, I want to share with you my favorite line of the night. A manufactured quote from me about Soulbbatical: “When I think about this book, I touch my shelf.” Priceless. If only The New York Times was in the house to witness the badassery.
Of course, there were also speeches and toasts and tears. After all that, my friend Megan stood up to preach from her winebox/soapbox in my honor. You see, her brother works for Amazon and she wanted to make sure everyone knew how important it was to submit reviews on the platform. It’s the only way books like mine get recognized, promoted, and maybe even make an Amazon category bestseller list. In all seriousness, it would be such a gift if you all could share your kind words with the world on Amazon and GoodReads. I’m so incredibly grateful.
So, here I am, finally recovered from a well-earned, 3-day hangover. And ready to share what’s lighting my soul on fire. Saddle up, friends! (Speaking of saddles, I’m heading to Santa Fe next week for what promises to be a transformational week of coaching with horses, hot tubs, and humans. Stay tuned.)
WHO OR WHAT IS INTRIGUING ME AT THE MOMENT
I’m super intrigued by the idea of writing about the Soul of Business next – or maybe it’s A Corporate Rebel’s Guide to Leadership. Either way, it’s something along those lines, picking up where my first book left off. Desiring to radically shift the culture at large and, even more critically, within corporations. I’m eager to help leaders transform themselves so they can lead from a wholehearted, soul-centric, growth-and-purpose-oriented place. And, from that place, get consciousness, mindfulness, and radical self-care and compassion on the C-Suite agenda and embedded in company culture. A culture that serves employees (versus employees serving a culture). This is our future if we want to combat the burnout and unhappiness epidemics, stress-related illnesses, and the startling rise of depression and suicide.
So, you can imagine my delight when I heard about the launch of the Inner MBA program a couple of weeks ago. It’s a collaborative effort between NYU, Sounds True, Wisdom 2.0, and LinkedIn (whose CEO, Jeff Weiner, is a huge proponent of mindfulness and conscious business). The Inner MBA program aims to transform business from the inside out. Leader by leader. A mission after my own heart. The first class starts in September 2020 and I’m so hopeful that this creates a massive ripple effect in business. Check it out here. I’m curious what you think…
WHAT’S GOT MY ORANGE HIGHLIGHTER IN OVERDRIVE
I recently read a mind-blowing book called The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. It’s one of those books that came up in conversation and recommendations so frequently I could no longer ignore it. And now I know why. It was the perfect time in my life to read one man’s astonishing (almost Hollywood-movie-level-unbelievable) story about what happens when you just let go of control/preferences/inner noise and surrender to what life brings you. Basically, letting life call the shots, open the doors, and introduce you to the kind of perfection and opportunity most of us can’t imagine. Not to mention a state of inner peace for which most of us long. Very meta.
So, I’ve started playing with surrender in my life – and I’m stunned by what’s shown up already. One small example is my Chicago book signing event. I was working with my publicist to create an event because I thought I should (Chicago being my home turf and all), but it started feeling forced and complicated and very expensive. I decided to pump the brakes, let go of the wheel, and prioritize media opportunities instead. No sooner had I let go of the idea then a friend makes an unsolicited introduction to a woman who heads up Social/Content/Events at a luxury boutique hotel in the most stunning and historic Art Deco building in downtown Chicago. She looks up my book, loves it, and offers to do a book signing/meet the author event at the property for free around International Women’s Day. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up. (P.S. It’s happening on March 12th at the St. Jane Hotel!)
FYI: Singer also wrote The Untethered Soul – one of the most influential books I carried with me on Soulbbatical. It’s a game-changer when it comes to freeing ourselves from the habitual thoughts, feelings, and emotions that stand in the way of our consciousness and brilliance. If you haven’t read it, check it out. I might even suggest reading The Untethered Soul before you dive into The Surrender Experiment. Better yet, do them as a double-header (in that order)!
WHO/WHAT/WHERE IS GIVING ME ROCKET FUEL
Heartbreak. RIP Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and the other beautiful young souls who perished in the crash. My heart goes out to the Bryant family, the Chester family, the Altobelli family, the Mauser family, and the Zobayan family. They join an extensive list of souls scooped up from their human experience before their work here was seemingly done. It’s challenging to make sense of it all. Not just in this high-profile case, but in the devastating losses of family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, children, and partners. Life feels both unfair and painfully short in these moments.
But there’s always a gift in pain. For me, it’s a potent reminder that we are very much alive. And if we’re doing anything that makes us feel less than 100% fucking alive and on fire, then it’s time to stop doing that thing, or being with that person, or accepting that energy into our lives. It’s once again fueling my conviction around the Soulbbatical manifesto to live fully and authentically and courageously; to push through the fear; to live in profound service; and to rebel for who we are and the impact we want to have in this world.
In this next half-century (or whatever precious little time I have left on this planet) I’m committing to live full out. No doors left unopened; no dreams left unrequited; no challenges left unaccepted. As I write in the book, I would much rather be saying to my future self “Thank God I did that!” instead of “I wish I would have…” Even if I failed spectacularly along the way.
Answer these questions with me:
What’s calling you to play so big you scare the shit out of yourself? (You know, that thing you keep pushing down or away…)
Where are you wasting time seeking approval (or permission) instead of doing what you already know you want to be doing?
If you want to learn more about the compassionate, purpose-driven, creative soul behind the celebrity, have a listen to Jay Shetty’s podcast interview with Kobe. It opened my eyes to what a beacon of light he was beyond the game of basketball. He’s a shining example of living your legacy, not just leaving it. I have no doubt his work will live on.
PODCAST EPISODES, VIDEOS, OR WORDS OF WISDOM
FROM MY TRIBE
It was only a matter of time before I had to talk about Lady O. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a bigtime fangirl. Oprah is on my Personal Board of Directors — a virtual group I created for daily inspiration and to serve as a reminder of what I believe to be the high-water mark for authenticity, courage and impact. (Everything for which me and my brand stand strong.) Actually, Oprah is the Chairwoman of the Board, sitting alongside Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Michelle Obama, Tina Fey, and the spirit of Anthony Bourdain.
So, it won’t surprise you that I’ve been following Oprah on her current Vision 2020 tour. Well, not literally following like a band groupie on the road (though I was totally tempted), but instead tuning in to the content she’s generously been sharing from each tour stop. Her special guests in each city are trailblazers, game changers, and visionaries who are living their truth, leveraging their platforms for good, and changing millions of lives as a result. The first three guests are three of my favorite souls: Lady Gaga, Tina Fey, and Amy Schumer. (Oprah, I love your taste in women.) They open up about their lives and their struggles. They laugh and cry. The most hard-hitting of the three is Lady Gaga talking about her ongoing battle with mental health and how she is committed to spearheading global progress in this space. (A space very close to my heart as you all know.)
FWIW: I’m putting one of my grandest intentions out into this community. I am going to be interviewed by Oprah – just as soon as she hears about Soulbbatical and reads my book. There’s a very real possibility that my book will get into her hands at the NYC Vision 2020 event this week. A friend who will be at the event is one degree of separation from Lady O. so I sent signed copies (with personalized notes) to NYC. And so it is.
ICYMI: I was on the Twenty Minutes with Bronwyn podcast a couple of weeks ago. Two badass babes dishing about success, Soulbbatical, and synchronicity. It’s equal parts “holy shit, that’s profound” and “I totally want to have a pajama party with those two.” Have a listen here.
Please also keep sharing the love about my book. I know many of you are already doing this (THANK YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL!). The more Soulbbatical fans we galvanize, the more momentum we get behind this movement. I’m a big fan of Kevin Kelly and his “1,000 True Fans” concept. The gist is this: you don’t need millions of fans or followers or dollars or clients to be a successful creator. You simply need a thousand true fans (who will buy anything you produce) in order to make a living – and, more importantly, start making things happen in the world. I’m gunning for the latter. This is about changing lives, liberating souls, and shifting culture. One Chief Soul Officer at a time. Thank you for spreading the word and helping to creating new fans through your influence. You can use this link for social media if you’d like: http://bit.ly/Soulbbatical.
As always, I would love for this newsletter to be the start of a deeper conversation with like-minded souls. I’m working on the community platform but, for now, feel free to shoot me an email or jump into the conversation on @soulbbatical (Instagram) or Soulbbatical Coaching (Facebook). Let me know what lit your soul on fire, what shifted your perspective for the week or month or year ahead, or how I can support you in any way.
And don’t be shy. If you love what you’re reading, share it with friends, family, clients, and colleagues who need a little more Soul Fuel in their lives. I mean, in this day and age, don’t we all?