I would like to spend some time this week (within the gift to me, that is these Letters, as I get to really nut out ideas), in clarifying and sharing what success can look like versus the realities. This is a conversation that is coming up a huge amount for me at the moment with students and meditation teachers we have graduated so it seems like the timing is right!
My friend Matt and I were discussing last weekend what really goes into what looks like a successful life or business. We both travel an immense amount for work, and from the Instagram view, life and work can look idyllic. We both love what we do, so there’s no complaints from us, but we notice a constant stream of only one view being projected onto our lives. To be clear I do not only sit around drinking tea and meditating! Life is unreal, but it’s also freaking hard work keeping The Broad Place evolving and being all around the world to share what we do.
When we created the idea for The Broad Place as a modern school for creativity and consciousness we already had a lot going on. Arran and I had a creative agency, he had a fashion brand, and we had a restaurant and cafe, and Arran also had a vodka brand he created in the Czech Republic. The same year we began the work on The Broad Place, I created and launched 20 events for clients, Arran’s brand was a feature show for fashion week and we launched the restaurant which I designed ground up, and we also marketed and did the PR for as well as worked the floor, then the cafe. The Broad Place actually ran from a tiny room within our studio. To learn meditation, students had to clamber upstairs past chic women tapping on keyboards furiously. Also, our daughter started primary school.
Then over the next two years we peeled it all back selling business and folding them, and focussed on The Broad Place only, and Arran worked only a small amount with various clients through the agency. The Broad Place has now, in the last 5 1/2 years, hosted almost 20 Retreats in Australia, 3 Retreats in India, taught multiple meditation courses and workshops on trips to Hong Kong x 2, Los Angeles x 6, New York x 1, London x 3, all around Australia. We created and launched product lines focussing on Ayurveda, and have created multiple online programs and self-published city guides and a book. We landed a book deal with a major publisher. We have trained and graduated 24 teachers in the art of teaching Vedic Meditation over three separate 12-14 month-long training programs. Oh, and we have adopted two rescue dogs and we have moved house 5 times within this same period.
It’s been thrilling, exciting and insanely challenging. Arran and I connected when we met 8 1/2 years ago deeply on our love of change, and risk. We both are completely aligned when it comes to jumping off into the deep end. Now we just get to hold hands whilst jumping. It’s not for everyone I promise you. There’s a level of adrenalin you have to be calibrated for and risk you must be comfortable with. There can be tears (me), sleepless nights (Arran) and lots of long walks in the dark of early morning to breathe through and work out the challenges presenting in that moment. There have been seemingly endless disappointments and sacrifices. I am very very familiar with failure, and the growth that comes from it. On the flip side, Arran and I choose to work together so we spend a LOT of time together, we are very present for our daughter and family life, and explore the world, and study and work on creative personal projects a lot. We also do a lot of things for love that doesn’t work financially. We invest a lot back into charity. We have absolute flexibility and we often find ourselves saying in awe, ‘can you seriously believe our lives!!’ to each other.
Throughout it, all one gets to constantly and thoroughly redefine success. Asking the questions ‘Is this how we want to work and live?’ are vital. Our values are our anchors within storms, our purpose and our missions are our guides. Our meditation practices have grounded us deeply and we are filled with habits, knowledge and tools on how to be creative and conscious, and for me, this is a huge component of success. For success is actually whatever we believe it is.
So I would love to invite you to look a little deeper, stop scrolling and admiring others lives and get your hands dirty and redefine success for yourself. It’s going to be filthy hard work at times, and so rewarding in others you might think you’ll explode. At the end of the day though, none of us knows how long we have to grace this earth, and so why not make an adventure out of it. And stay tuned for tomorrow’s Letter as we have some huge news, speaking of adventure…
Sent with love,