Really – I’d love to know. Or if you don’t like the formality of “Board of Directors,” then who are the people in your Life Posse? Your Sister Squad? I never really considered this concept until a new friend of mine coined the term for an experience we’re sharing this year.
For the past few months, I’ve been sharing bits and pieces about a trip I’m taking to Paris, France in the fall, but I haven’t offered the whole scoop. For two years, I’ve been following the work of an exquisite woman named Tonya Leigh Williams. She’s an amazing coach and overall inspiration to women who want to live life in the form of an embrace, not a struggle or desperate grasp.
It’s a point of view and lifestyle she calls “French Kiss Life” and I was intrigued with this approach. There was something about it that took me back to my Catholic school girl days when I went to dinner with the French Club at the Parisian Pantry; I’ve always felt so connected to France, the language, and way of life. Fast forward to almost 25 years later and instead of thinking those were the wistful dreams of a girl, I saw the wisdom and heart of them more clearly than ever.
One of the experiences Tonya offers is a “mastermind” called The French Kiss the World Society — (and this is a general definition of what a mastermind is as written by Napoleon Hill, an author who spent his life studying successful people, their habits and practices, and then writing what I call “personal success lit” for the masses):
“a coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose. This form of cooperative alliance has been the basis of nearly every great success.”
Take that concept and bring it to life in the form of a diverse group of 11 women led by a successful, savvy, chic, and loving mentor (and her brainy bombshell assistant : ) who spend nearly nine months together to declare and attain their hearts’ desires.We meet by phone and in our virtual “salon” on Facebook; we’re coached by Tonya, given creative challenges and meet in our smaller groups — our coteries — to dig deeper into the work. AND we travel — can you hear my bliss? Yes, we travel the world, this group.
Our first trip was to Santa Fe, New Mexico last week. It was there that I got to know the new members of The Board of Directors of My Life (BDML) and they got to know me. Really, “got to know” doesn’t touch what occurred– I actually refer to our time in Santa Fe as “magical” or “the incubator of love.”
Here was my thought over and over again throughout our experience: “This is how women can simultaneously support, challenge, champion, and care for one another. There’s the essence of power in this room. This is love.”
In my life’s BDML, God and I are the permanent chairs. Some people might take issue that I give us the same status, but I believe God resides within all of us and guides us, so that’s how I roll. You may have God as the CEO and you’re the COO, and that’s COOL. Other members include my husband, my parents, my kids, my best friend Laura, my coaches – past and present, my therapist Sue, and my brothers. These are all permanent members, but there’s always room for new candidates in my life.
Some join the board for the time that their wisdom is needed and then make space for the newcomers. I don’t define my board members as a “governing” entity; I see them as my guides. I have regularly scheduled meetings with most of my board members and some are more on an as-needed basis. In Santa Fe, I welcomed the women in our mastermind onto my board. I trust their knowledge, support, and most importantly, their unconditional positive regard for my sacred dreams. That, and they want me to get shit done. And they will lovingly remind me to get out of my own way as well as offer practical advice or opinions when I ask for it.
My mastermind members of the BDML like travel and adventure, so we’ll also be convening in New York City in June and Paris in October. If last week was any indication of what is to come, I will continue to be blessed beyond measure.
My BDML doesn’t exist because a bunch of members of my life decided they needed to shape me up — I decided to bring them into the fold of my life because I know it’s for the greater good and growth of my time here on earth. It’s part of my plan for that term I love to give many a shout out: self-care. I am taking care of myself by engaging with others, asking for their insights, questions, surmising, and most importantly, love. I value connection, so I connect with myself to ask what I want and who I wish to surround myself with in life.
Think about who these people are for you. Are there members of your BDML who need to rotate off? Are there potential members that might challenge you, but hold the highest intention for you? If you’re not sure who those important people are in your life or why they’re hanging out with you, perhaps this is a call to evaluate.
My French Kiss the World Society sisters have listened to me and see that my vision is not the “scattered” collage of helping people that I call my work sometimes. In fact, through them I learned that my passion and mission are very clear. I’m here to help women who feel they carry the weight of the world — literally (as in on their bodies) and in the burden of their painful thoughts and emotions, the dreams they think are dashed, or their relationships that are stagnant or bitter. I’m stepping up as a BDML candidate for women who hold even the tiniest seed of hope that they can find a new way, on their terms, and master their own beautiful lives.
Just for fun…
I’ve been to Paris once before and that was with my extended Wagner family in 2000 to celebrate my the 50th wedding anniversary of my husband’s parents. I can remember this rainy day, my little red umbrella, the lady with the baby carriage, and mon bebe (I was about 20 weeks pregnant with my daughter, Grace). A bientot, mon amie ~ Laura