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Interview with Marina DeLima from WTA

Interview with Marina DeLima from WTA

Jorge and Marina

I had the great pleasure to meet Jorge Branco and Marina De Lima from the World Travelers Association when they visited New Jersey back in March. I was so impressed by their non-profit organization that I decided to interview them.

They both go live in another country for a few months before inviting a group of people to join them for adventure and volunteering. They are currently in Thailand and will be heading to Nepal to run their trek to Everest Base Camp in the spring. Follow them on Instagram or Twitter for stunning pictures and heartwarming stories.

Elephant SanctuaryMarina was a yoga teacher in New Jersey before joining Jorge in his international project a few years ago. She is now teaching yoga in whatever country they find themselves in and running the volunteering/adventure projects with Jorge.

This interview explores how she decided to leave her home and steady income in New Jersey to join Jorge in his travels, and how she got into yoga in the first place. Enjoy, and be inspired! This makes me want to do something amazing with my own life!

 

What was your life like before you came across meditation and yoga?

For over ten years, before I became a yoga teacher, I worked as Reality Television Producer and ran my own reality casting agency. I worked for every major TV network and a lot of the big name reality shows. I had a very typical New York City life where I was overworked at a highly stressful job and spent my free time partying, drinking, and finding ways to buy myself happiness that I felt I had worked hard to deserve.

Marina Quote 1A lot of my pleasures came from material things and spending money. I was always a travel junkie and because I worked as a freelancer I would plan trips as many times a year as I could. Sometimes the only thing getting me through a project would be the promise of an escape that I would spend hours and researching and booking. But like a lot of the people I knew, I was faking it. Although for a long time I loved my job, I still felt like a fraud 80% of the time and would make excuses for the lack of purpose in my career.

I was raised in a Catholic home and always a connection to God and my own spirituality, but I had lost that and turned into a cynical adult who only saw the beauty in things only if it was covered in gold or champagne. My personal relationships were suffering because I was so obsessed with maintaining the facade of a life I had created. At the rate I was living I would have had a stress induced heart attack by 40 and have no family, friends, or partner by my side.

I no longer wanted to be the version of myself that I had become and I knew that it had to start by quieting my mind and my thoughts and reconnecting with my spiritual side. Instead of going to church, I chose to start meditating. I needed a way to deal better with myself and begin to manage and understand my emotions, and just like that I found yoga.

What was the turning point for you that made you decide to seek other ways of handling things?

Marina Quote 2Right around the time that I was turning 30 I began taking inventory of all the areas of my life; my career, my relationship with my boyfriend, friends, and family, and my relationship with myself. I realized I was living in the apartment I wanted, working in the career I had crafted and nurtured, was dating a guy who was supposed to be my equal, and had tons of friends with a social calendar that was booked for months in advance. I was living my dream life… and I was so unhappy. I spent so much time creating this life that I thought I was supposed to have and that to outsiders looked perfect, and inside I was slowly drowning. For the first time I started to imagine a life where I wasn’t a television producer, where I didn’t live in the New York City area, where I was free and living an authentic true version of myself.

I started to go to yoga because I became interested in the idea of an exercise that was more linked to spiritually, breath, and understanding of the body and spirit. I needed something that was hard and not just physically hard, but something that would calm my monkey mind and maybe convince me that I was just going through a moment and that my crazy thoughts would pass. I signed up for a week trial to my local studio six years ago and I was instantly hooked. I was physically fit but this was different; I was moving differently, sweating differently, breathing differently than I’d ever done before. And then I had my first savasana cry and for the first time ever in my adult life I felt free.

What self-help tools have you tried, and which one had the greatest impact on your life?

I gave a lot of tools a chance in the beginning of my journey. I was trying to find tools that were authentic and felt like I wasn’t forcing them or pretending to understand them. I tried various yoga styles, meditation styles, tapping, body work, tantric dance, reiki, sound therapy, watsu therapy, acupressure, acupuncture, shamanic practices, and anything that I found interesting and that I thought could potentially become a consistent figure in my life.

Oddly enough a lot of them have stuck but my primary healing and self-help tool is my yoga practice. Yoga is a moving meditation and although I still practice seated meditation, I feel the most connected to spirit and most present when I am practicing and teaching yoga. My cellular vibration is higher, my thoughts clearer, my nervous system becomes settled. To me is the best high I have ever felt.

I am now a reiki healer and enjoy receiving reiki and working with ancient healing and traditional Chinese medicine. I have recently started to examine shamanic healing and started a journey to create a deeper connection to my environment and mother nature to build more universal love and compassion.

What challenges did you have to overcome in order to pursue your passion?

Marina Quote 3When I first started toying with the idea of making a life out of being a yoga teacher and healer, I knew that it would be a long road. I had to begin to break up and undo the ties of my old life. For so long I was so deeply associated with my old career that it defined who I was as a person. When I started acting differently and speaking about the new work of my life, my friends and family thought I was crazy. It made me second guess myself. I think the hardest part was staying dedicated to what brought me happiness and peace and trust that everyone else in my life needed their own time to catch up to who I was now becoming.

Explain what your product or service is about.

A year and half ago, after meeting someone who was out in the world living their dream (Jorge), I decided to take the leap of faith and leave behind my life in America to pursue my dream of teaching yoga internationally and bringing people on yoga and adventure retreats. Since then, Jorge and I have lived in five countries together and have brought people to seven countries all over the world to share life changing experiences. Jorge and I now run World Travelers Association, a Non-Profit Organization with a mission to ‘Travel for a Purpose’. I am currently expanding beyond Yoga Teacher and Retreat Leader and in 2018 will begin running Yoga Teacher Training to empower others with tools to follow their dreams and continue on their journey of healing and love.

How did you develop your product or service and decide to offer it to the world?

I am very committed to putting in the time as a student in order to be able to become a better teacher. I have logged various hours training with my yoga teachers as well as traditional Chinese medicine professionals, Shamanic Teachers, mediation teachers, and by having a daily commitment to self-study. As far as being a retreat leader and guide, my retreats are compiled of adventures that I have experienced first hand. Jorge and I are dedicating our lives to living in countries for months at a time before groups arrive so we can offer our travelers a unique and carefully planned trip.

Jorge and MarinaHow can people learn more about it or contact you?

Website: www.MarinaDeLima.com

Instagram: Marinad31

Facebook: Marina De Lima Yoga

Email: TravelingYogi@MarinaDeLima.Com

Interview with Matt Ciancimino, Co-founder of 4XMG Studios

Interview with Matt Ciancimino, Co-founder of 4XMG Studios

My favorite group meditation is held at 4XMG Studios in Nutley, NJ (led by Lou Redmond – click to read his interview). The room has such a good positive vibe and attracts people with a similar energy. I always have a wonderful experience meditating in this room and great conversations before and after the event.

I had the pleasure to meet the co-owner of the studio, Matt Ciancimino and hearing his story of how he started the studio.  He is a good example of taking that “leap of faith” and pursuing your passion without knowing how everything will turn out.

Despite his busy schedule, he took the time to answer my interview questions. Please welcome Matt and enjoy his story.

 

What was your life like before you came across the self-help tools that helped you?

My life was quite ordinary and “normal” by the standards of most.  I had been a sub par student in high school and the same went for college. However, I had excelled in leadership opportunities, for example by becoming the president of my fraternity.  Once I graduated, I started working a menial job to start paying my bills, which at the time was a culture shock for me, having never paid bills before.

That monotonous job led me to an opportunity to become a pharmaceutical salesman.  This career shift gave me some direction in my early 20’s and gave me nothing but great things.  Here I am, 24 years old, making 70-80k, full benefits, company car, and gas card.  To the general population I would have been considered “well-off” with nothing but opportunity at my doorstep.  As shocking as it may seem, with all this great stuff, I was left feeling unfulfilled.

 

What was the turning point for you that made you decide to seek other ways of handling things?

It wasn’t until I was “challenged” by my good friend Lou Redmond that I started to gain control of my life and control my reality.  This may have been around 2014 when Lou was in town visiting from San Diego.  We met to catch up, and I quickly began to tell him how “great” I was doing (i.e. Money, Car, Benefits, Gas Card).  After being excited, Lou replied “That’s great, but I didn’t know your goal was to become the best pharmaceutical rep in the world.”  I quickly snapped into defense mode and denial mode and told my buddy that I was “successful” and had worked hard to get all the stuff I now had.  We argued and he ended up leaving.  Little did I know, he had planted a seed that would end up growing stronger beyond my own comprehension.

About two weeks later I started to come to a startling realization: What was I thinking?  My passion was always in music and being in the music business, why the hell am I pursuing a career in pharmaceutical sales?!?  I began to explore music avenues and quickly was becoming less interested in the pharmaceutical work world.  This led to many great things in my life, including a career change.

 

Matt C Quote 2What self-help tools have you tried, and which one had the greatest impact on your life?

I have been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past five years, and I credit a lot of my discipline and dedication to the sport.  I also read … A LOT.  The book that is a MUST READ for anyone looking to positively impact their lives would be Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill. This book most definitely had the greatest impact on my life.  I also think a lot of self-reflection is important for personal growth, and mindfulness meditation is a great tool to help reflect.

 

What challenges did you have to overcome in order to pursue your passion?

Matt C Quote 1Challenges are bitter sweet, ya gotta love ’em! I think the first real challenge that I had to overcome was realizing that I was living my life exactly how society had brainwashed me into believing was right (i.e. taking the “safe” job with a steady paycheck, working for the weekend, etc.). Once I realized that I had dreams and goals that were so far from these “norms” forced upon us by society, it was almost as if I had put glasses on and could now see the world clearly.

I think that is a huge challenge to overcome, realizing that the world has SO MUCH to offer, definitely so much more than a 9-5 job. I think rapper J. Cole put it best when talking about jobs and hourly wages—he said something along the lines of, “No matter how much you get paid an hour, your life is worth more than any dollar amount.” I took that and ran with it. Some other challenges I chalk up to “peaks and valleys” of pursuing your dreams and goals.

There are good days and bad days, but as long as I am creating my own reality, I am perfectly fine with challenges, because they teach you a lesson no matter what. When you overcome a challenge, you learn how to do so if you are TEMPORARILY defeated by challenges, you LEARN but never LOSE.

 

Explain what your product or service is about.

At 4XMG Studios, our mission is to empower your creativity and provide you with the tools needed to take your art to the next level. No matter your craft, there’s a reason why you’ve landed on our page. Whether you’re in pre-production (writing/creative), production (recording) or post-production (mixing/mastering), 4XMG Studios can bring your project to the next level. Think of our studio as your creative incubator. With services and accommodations including music production, song writing, audio recording, rehearsal space, editing bays, private venue space and more, we’re here to give you the inspiration and guidance to turn your dreams into reality.

Looking to host an event? (Yoga session, meditation class, casting audition, concert, showcase, etc.)

Or just need a private room? (Video editing, creative writing, photography/music video shoots, working space, etc.)

4XMG Studios’ expansive layout and modern-rustic design can accommodate your creative needs.

 

How can people learn more about it or contact you?

Website: 4XMG.com

Twitter: @4XMG_

Instagram: @4XMG

Facebook: 4XMG Studios

Interview with Mourad Tellab, Modern Money Ninja

Interview with Mourad Tellab, Modern Money Ninja

Mourad TellabI came across Mourad Tellab while searching for good tips on how to find multiple sources of income. I subscribed to his free four-day e-mail course, How To Start Investing With Little Money. I had just finished reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki, and I recognized some of the concepts from that book in his teachings.

I was impressed by his responsiveness and knowledge about the subject, and especially by his story about meeting with twelve multi-millionaires. It takes some guts! He gave me simple tips I could easily apply, and replied to my e-mails. This is what I like about meeting people who have a good product or service but are not super-famous yet: they are often more approachable and responsive.

I wanted to give something back and help him get more exposure while also learning about his story. I was curious to know what made him turn his life around and develop new ways of doing things. I hope you enjoy reading his answers to my questions as much as I did.

What was your life like before you came across financial education?

I was a university student who had dropped out several times and couldn’t really fit in in the whole get-a-degree-and-a-job thing. So I did what most young people who are uncertain about the future do, I escaped. I went on a year of exchange in Sydney, Australia. In the space of five days, everything changed.

What was the turning point for you that made you decide to seek other ways of handling things?

As I was in Australia, I made amazing friends. My housemates decided to go on a five-day trip to Fiji in November 2013. To be honest, I had never heard of Fiji and I didn’t even have the money to go. One of my friends offered to pay the plane ticket for me … I still get emotional just thinking about it.

We only spent five days in Fiji, but it completely rocked my world. I met a guy who was 19 and had started two companies and another guy who was 25 and had created a website that generated passive income for him … Both these guys were traveling the world as a result of their entrepreneurial endeavors.

That’s when I realized the impact that money could have on one’s life. Then I thought, “It is possible! Why not me?”

Not so long after, a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki crossed my path. I discovered an entirely new world of possibilities. It’s funny how sometimes in life when you long for something and you put yourself out there things come to you.

What approaches have you tried before developing your own?

I literally spent a year reading everything I could find on the topics of business, finance and investing. In the space of a year I read more than 100 books; I invested more than $20,000 in investing courses and seminars …

And I conducted a study during which I met 12 multi-millionaires, from having lunch with Robert Kiyosaki to interviewing Kevin Green, the number one property owner in the U.K. I met people who were at the top of their game financially and I found all the answers to my questions.

I went from being broke and in debt to starting two companies. Then I realized the knowledge and experience I had could help other people.

ModernMoneyNinja was born.

Explain what your approach is about.

ModernMoneyNinja is about two things.

First and foremost, it is about teaching.

After all the time I invested in my financial education, I realized I knew more about money than some people who had more than me because their parents gave them some money—I call them “thank-you-Mommy-and-Daddy-investors.”

Robert Kiyosaki is right: nobody teaches us about money! Most importantly, I realized most young people didn’t bother learning about money. But how different could our lives be should we start taking control of our money early enough?

I think we should all learn about money, it doesn’t belong to people wearing suits. I want to make it simple by empowering people through education and responsibility. I hate this financial world that makes everything so complicated to keep people dependent on them. Because I’ve had the opportunity to get the best advice possible from very wealthy individuals, I feel I have a personal responsibility to share it.

Mourad QuoteLastly, ModernMoneyNinja is about inspiration. I document my journey to financial freedom in an incisive, no BS style. I don’t lie: I share my successes as well as my failures, and my uncertainties as well as my latest ninja moves.

To me, inspiration really boils down to your level of honest vulnerability. And I say that because story telling has become a major component of bullshit-marketing. More and more we’re missing real people and real stories!

I think that nowadays many people pretend to be someone they are not on the internet just to sell you results that they haven’t had themselves; this is certainly not me.

I really take the long term vision here: How awesome of a story would it be to follow that young man who set for himself to become financially free, became financially free, and helped people along the way?

In conclusion, I want to lead by example.

One last word

Thank you, Annie, for giving me the opportunity to share my story on your website. You rock!

How can people learn more about it or contact you?

Here is my website: modernmoneyninja.com

You can also check out my free report: 7 Things I Learned Meeting 12 Multi-Millionaires

Interview with Lou Redmond

Interview with Lou Redmond

I met Lou two months ago at a group meditation he was leading at 4XMG Studio in Nutley, NJ. I was very impressed by his story and skills at leading the meditations, so I decided to interview him and find out more.

Lou is a public speaker and motivator. He leads group meditations and also offers guided meditations on YouTube and on Insight Timer.

He recently wrote a book about his story, which will be available in February.

What was your life like before you came across meditation/mindfulness?

My life before meditation was unfocused at best. I lacked a real sense of purpose. I was not aware of my actions and the results that were following. My “why” was unclear and clouded.

Before meditation I thought the purpose in life was to “Have Fun.” I found my excitement on the weekends through partying which involved a lot of drugs and alcohol. That started to take a toll on my body and emotional well-being.

What was the turning point for you that made you decide to seek other ways of handling things?

I hit my “rock bottom” as far as drug use went. It wasn’t really a one-off occurrence, rather week after week of building myself back up during the work week only to see it come crashing down as the weekend came. Many sleepless nights I would lie awake with these depressing hangovers. I finally hit a point where I understood what it was doing to my body and decided it was time for a new way of being.

What approaches have you tried before developing your own?

I’ve tried many different meditation approaches including mindfulness, breath work, and visualization, just to name a few. I’ve also done some work with NLP (Neural Linguistic Programing) which, like meditation, brings you to a deeper place within yourself.

Explain what your approach is about.

What resonated with me most was visualization and journey meditation. I believe whatever the mind can imagine can make its way to physical reality. By visualizing through meditation and taking yourself on a journey of your life, you charge the cells in your body and give more energy to what you envision.

Steps:

  1. Get in your favorite meditation space and start enlivening your body with your breath.
  2. Bring to mind a future you. This future you has accomplished all your wildest dreams. Take notice what this person looks like.
  3. Now let your mind run wild with what those dreams are. How do they look in your mind’s eye?
  4. How does your body feel when seeing this? Work to cultivate the feeling of what it would be like to attain your wildest dreams.
  5. Breathe into this feeling! Breathe deeper, own this fantasy world you created and truly believe that you have all your dreams accomplished NOW.
  6. When you can bring the feeling into your current state of being of how you want your future self to be, your mind thinks it’s reality and will work to bring that into your life.

 

How did you develop your approach?

My approach is still evolving, which is exactly what life and meditation are about. I like to experiment with new things and most of all, have fun with what I’m doing. We’re not meant to be the same. Everything around us is changing and evolving. If we’re not on that path, then we are falling behind.

You should always be trying new things and questioning the habits and routines you find yourself in. That’s what growth and transformation are all about.

How did you actually discover meditation? How was your first time like?

I tried meditation simply because I saw that successful people around me were doing it. It didn’t take off for me for a couple of months. I believe meditation is like and instrument. We’re not going to be good at first. We have to learn to play by showing up and practicing. Then we’ll begin to feel the flow and the sweet sounds it can bring.

What is your favorite thing about meditation?

I love that it’s always with us. We can always take thirty seconds to close our eyes and breathe, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. The breath is the best tool humans have been given. I have a vision that one day we are all living our lives in full meditation.

How can people learn more about you or contact you?

My website, louredmond.com has more about who I am and what my purpose around meditation is. There you can find motivational videos as well as free guided meditations. You can also contact me through there. If you’re on Instagram or Twitter follow me @louspeakstruth.

Thank you, Lou, for taking the time to do this interview!

 

Social Media

Website: louredmond.com
Facebook: lou.redmond.1
Twitter: @louspeakstruth
Instagram: @louspeakstruth
YouTube: Inspiration – Motivation – Meditation

Guided Meditations

Meetup Group (in Nutley, NJ): Meditation in New Jersey
Insight Timer: InsightTimer,com/Louredmond (download the free app to listen to them on any device)
Videos: louredmond.com/guided-meditations

Book

Lou’s upcoming book, Find Your Truth, will be published in February. I pre-ordered mine on Lou’s IndieGoGo campaign. His goal was reached and the deadline has passed since then (yay!), bu you can still pre-order his book on that site, or contact Lou directly using his contact form to pre-order your copy.

Back Cover:

From a drug-fueled existence to quitting my 9-5 to pursue my dream, Find Your Truth is the story of how I drastically transformed my life from a passion for partying to a passion for living with purpose, love, and meaning. I share the steps I took to change my life – steps which you can take to find a deeper connection to yourself and your greater purpose.

This four-minute video explains more about his book and his story.