Name: Galit Beth Schwarz
Born: August - 1980 - LEO
Place of Birth: Nahariya, Israel
Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ
College: FSU & University of Maryland
Current City: New York, NY with a hefty side of LA
Occupation: Sales & Marketing, Luxury Hospitality
Height: Barely 5 feet
Favorite Movie: Zoolander
Favorite Song: Electric Relaxation, Tribe Called Quest
Favorite Place on Earth: Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Favorite Food: Sushi - ikura + uni specifically tie for first place
Favorite Pizza: King of Pizza plain with lots of parmesan cheese & red pepper flakes
What I Aspire to Be: Changemaker & Thought Leader
My Story Personal Statement:
The name Galit means Gentle Little Wave. I’m more like a Tsunami. Other words often used to describe me: firecracker, spark plug, ball of energy, pistol. I have always been told my enthusiasm is contagious. I recognize that I possess copious amounts of energy and that I can influence others. At the core I am a natural born leader with an innate ability to connect — a trait which has become apparent in my adult life and a gift in the way my brain functions and how I think. I move through life with a clear self awareness and an ease of social grace. I am fiercely loyal and pride myself on being able to make anyone around me feel comfortable. I collect friends everywhere I go.
Those words above and several other paragraphs were written when I was ON FIRE; literally blazing with self belief and ambition. Still, I am that person. At my core, that is who I AM. These days I am a little bit softer, a bit more vulnerable and in a fluid state of self discovery.
I built an incredible career in hospitality sales with much of it spent with industry leaders in the luxury hotel segment.
It afforded me the opportunity to see the world in a luxurious manner and has exposed me to experiences and destinations I never knew existed. It also made me relevant in a global market.
Years of international travel were amazing at first, and I am beyond grateful for them, but as the years went by it became repetitive — almost like Groundhog Day.
I remember being in London, São Paulo and St Barths in the span of ten days. On paper it sounds like a dream, but I was pushing out so much energy and on a hamster wheel. Taking in experiences and being present were overrun by survival mode or “the push.” I moved so fast I often didn’t feel.
I started to become so disenchanted and uninspired that I knew it was time to look for a new role. So this is how life is funny and where Gabby Bernstein’s “The Universe Has Your Back” rings true.
I had a role with a new company in my hands — one of those handshake deals, just a few more formalities to go through — when an internal candidate came out of the woodwork and swept it out from under me. I remember the recruiter calling me and apologizing and telling me how much everyone loved me, but that promoting from within was part of company culture. Although a bit puzzled by it all, I took it with stride. I kept looking for interesting opportunities and roles that could meet my salary requirements but nothing quite fit. Ten months later there was an opportunity in my company to take on a more expansive role. I’d negotiated a compensation package and title jump I was happy with and while it all was in writing, nothing was formally signed. The day it was supposed to be announced at our morning meeting it wasn’t. Then my new business cards that were being rushed went on hold. Then during my face to face meeting with my SVP, she said, “I’m trying to build a brand and I can’t have you making more than a global sales person.” They renegotiated my package, title and the sparkle dulled on my star. The irony was the SVP was a woman, and until then, I was one of her shining stars. Never mind I was six years into my tenure, helped to globally put the brand on the map, gave 200%, and was consistently a top revenue producer. I was a number and this was a business decision. My direct boss at the time pulled me into her office, apologized and told me she didn’t see this coming. I had a week to decide if I still wanted to take this new role.
Five days later one of my dearest friends was med-vacked home from Panama where she was filming a TV show and began her 3rd battle with Ovarian Cancer.
I had come off a red eye the morning I woke up to the email and called the office to let them know I would go straight to the hospital instead of coming to work. I walked into my bosses office later that day and said, “I’ll take the promotion - call me what you want, pay me what you want, none of this really matters to me in the grand scheme of things.”
I went on total and complete autopilot. The corporate game just wasn’t that important to me anymore. Ironically, my friend Brad, SVP of Sales & Revenue for the Cleveland Cavaliers, was in town that week and over dinner he left me with a little nugget of wisdom that stuck with me. “You don’t put your stars on a spreadsheet,” he said, shaking his head. It was then I knew I was going to leave, but that it would be on my terms and when I was ready.
My 34-year-old friend, Diem Brown, died of ovarian cancer. My world stopped. My perfect fast paced bubble of work, travel, socialize, repeat—popped. Diem was vivacious, energetic, a gorgeous light and she was gone. Life is short; mine was on autopilot.
I had lost one of my closest friends, fallen out of love with my career and was learning to navigate life cycle changes in my own family dynamic. I remember thinking: I’m fine, I just got promoted (kind of), I was relatively happy where I was in life, but everything around me was so out of my control and there was nothing I could do to fix any of it.
I was in so much pain and knew that therapy wasn’t the answer. Therapy reminded me of being 13 years old, uber rebellious and confused about my feelings. I knew how I felt and needed to heal. I sought out energy healers, deepened my yoga and meditation practices—anything that brought me a few moments of peace, calm, balance and clarity from the pain. At times it literally felt like the pain was coming at me from every direction. When I wasn’t sobbing, I was existing in a coma.
Once I woke up from my comatose state, I realized that although I couldn’t change what was happening around me, I could change my reaction and perspective. This transition drove me to look deeper into my life’s purpose.
Exactly a year later on a flight home from a family vacation in Puerto Rico, a million dollar idea hit me and I wrote pages upon pages of framework for a social club rooted in well being called UR Social Club. It was pouring out of me. I was so in love with the idea. It consumed me and gave me a new sense of purpose. With the encouragement and validation from a mentor and a few close friends, I truly believed that I could do this.
Looking back, this is when I built my support team, or my three fairies as I sometimes refer to them. It takes a village; I hired life coach, found an incredible wellness center, and studied reiki.
What’s ironic is at the time, I had no idea the magnitude of impact and support these incredible humans would provide for me. The dynamics of each of these relationships manifested at the same time, and while they all enriched my life, they also became symbiotic relationships.
I started to work on UR day and night. I felt like I was living a double life. Hospitality sales by day, wellBEing founder by night. I was planning events, building community and introducing all these “woo-woo” healing arts modalities in a way that made them relatable and cool. I was on a mission to bring all of the treatments and methods that helped me to everyone I knew in hope that it would also help them.
I was on FIRE and super intense. It was a way too intense level of enthusiasm and drive to ever be sustainable. It’s funny because now when I sense that intensity in someone else, I have an immediate aversion to it.
It’s crazy that everyone around me believed in me, but this is what drove me. I had friends lending me their spare time and ex-assistants and their friends coming to my place on nights and weekends. Come to think of it, almost every guy I’d dated that year somehow offered to help me in different ways. My energy was infectious.
My life coach, Cherie Healey, helped me devise a plan to “get Galit happy at work.” This time it wasn’t asking for anymore money; just two days from home and the area title and bonus split I was promised a year prior. I’d made a spreadsheet of my goals, revenues at both hotels, and bonuses, as well as all the paperwork showing what my promotion a year ago was supposed to be. I gave it to each of my bosses to review.
I then took my General Manager, another woman, on a business trip to Australia. I remember thinking as I planned our trip: I am asking for my worth, I need to remind them of what I can do. We had a packed schedule, and that trip I put $25,000 of revenue at each hotel before our feet touched the ground in the US. When I returned, I had a quick catch up with our VP who was thrilled with my results. He mentioned that he was reviewing my request and that none of it was unreasonable.
When I got the calendar invite to meet with both of my bosses at each hotel, I knew it was to discuss my requests. Before the meeting I popped my head into my SoHo boss’s office. He was one of those true hoteliers, a legendary fixture in the NYC hotel scene. I adored him and felt fortunate to work with him. We had a mutual respect for each other and an open and honest dialogue. As he told me to close the door he said these words, “G, I don’t know what the fuck happened — I had it all pushed through for you and at the 11th hour - poof…you need to leave on your time - this company doesn’t deserve you.”
I went through the motions and sat in our meeting while the news that I would have no title change, my bonuses wouldn’t be independent of each other and I could not work two days from home were officially delivered to me. My voice got really low, nasil, and monotone - which is what I do when I don’t want to yell or raise my voice. “Everyone needs to stop doing me favors,” I said. “I don’t need to play lead or be a star or my work be used as an example - I just need to be.” My other boss from our Central Park Hotel let down her guard in that moment, cocked her head sideways and said, “we just want you to be happy.” With that little bit of compassion, I lost all composure. As tears streamed down my face, I balled, “but I’m not happy.”
So from then on I became an overachiever who was successfully mediocre at work, which for me meant I was operating at 110% instead of 200%. I found myself preaching my new mantra to other friends: be mediocre, so you can shine in other ways.
I remember one day a colleague telling me I look refreshed and they were right—I was! It was 10 am and I had been to a yoga class before work. What was most important to me now was my wellBEing, and not the company I poured myself into that saw me as a number. Spring 2016 was the most carefree and happy time of my seven-year run with this hotel.
I’d been interviewing for months at this point. I had offers from two big global sales roles with well-known luxury brands, and then this one role with a title jump but a lateral move in salary working for a private island in the Caribbean. When the recruiter first presented it to me in February, the salary was meh….but it sounded cool so I agreed to interview. As the months went by, and I truly learned what Caribbean time was, I realized there was no other job that I wanted. This job was it.
While my career swirled in the unknown, I built a team around me and was working day and night on UR Social Club. My old roommate, Emily, a senior director of strategy at a major branding organization, educated me on brand foundation 101.
It was incredible what I learned those few months. Between Cherie and Emily, I felt like I was back in school in the best way. All of a sudden I had homework assignments in marketing, branding, writing, and self discovery. I actually forgot how much I enjoyed creative writing.
I had built a cohesive brand, garnered a following, organized events, and had a digital presence—and people were actually paying for healing modalities in a palatable, relatable way. UR Social Club was on its way. I was elated by my creation, but it was moving at such an intense pace; it was not sustainable.
During the last few months at my corporate job, things spiraled downward. All signs pointed to the universe wanting me to make a change. Aside from the renegotiation of my package falling flat on its face, crazier things manifested.
For example, a lunatic came running into our hotel restaurant while I was sandwiched in a banquet between two clients with no phone and started yelling threatening profanities. Due to budget cuts, we were operating on minimum staffing levels, there was no security on the first floor, and it wasn’t until he walked back on the street that the hotel doorman called security.
The amount of true fear I felt in that moment was terrifying. Next, I walked into an exposed outlet in the back of the house with no signage and gushed blood. Now I have a little battle scar on my left knee to always remind me of this time.
I’m sure I could have sued the company, but since I was trying to build a brand rooted in wellBEing, suing felt out of alignment to me. Plus, dragging out this misery was just not worth it. I wanted to cut ties, leave and move on. LET IT GO.
Here’s the thing: because I had a few more hard lessons to learn, I didn’t get to resign until months later. The biggest lesson of all was the art of just “shutting the fuck up” and “smiling and nodding” as Cherie often reminded me. At the core of it was flowing instead of pushing; not always needing to be right. Sounds so simple?!
So as the weeks of what seemed like interminable confinement in a bad relationship continued, more absurd occurrences were presented to me. The culmination of the crazy is the day I found myself at a speech the CEO of our company was giving. I hesitated going to it, but I was “invited” as upper level management, and so I played by the rules of the corporate game.
That speech was a Trump rally in the ballroom of our hotel. Seven years prior, I had signed up to open a hot new luxury hotel in Soho whose figurehead happened to be brash New York City businessman; not a political figure. Regardless of what side of the political fence you sit on, working in a politically charged climate is challenging because you no longer have control over your business.
The two weeks leading up to my resignation, I cried every day. Not light tears; streaming, hyperventilating ones. I felt so out of alignment, so trapped, so out of control, so wanting to be sure my life was about to change, but still harboring fear, doubt and anxiety. I thank every day for my sister and my college best friend, Beth, who took the brunt of it. At one point, Beth said, “I’m almost scared to pick up your phone calls because I’m always worried you’re sobbing on the other end.” When I told my sister she laughed and said the same. The reality was they always picked up, were always there, and I wasn’t alone because in all of it, I held the self worth and trust to know that they would be there for me.
Finally! Two of my best friends had flown in from LA for a long weekend. If fact, one arrived off her red eye as I was putting the finishing touches on my offer from the private island in the Caribbean. I’d set up a bedtime basket filled with essential oils, eye masks, and herbal remedies for her in my room, which at first she laughed at, but quickly became obsessed with. A few years back — because I lived life in a constant state of whirlwind — she would have been lucky if my bed was made.
My resignation was a disaster. I told one boss, but before I had a chance to call the other, he accidentally sent an email out. Then I spent an hour or so feeling horrible and apologizing to my other boss. She had been so good to me and this was not how I wanted her to find out. The weirdest part of it all was when someone would ask me if I were excited, I would say: no, I’m relieved. I was so caught up in the “getting out” that I didn’t even enjoy the moment.
The following two weeks were mayhem. I had an industry travel conference in Vegas, that was in my best interest to be at. Leading up to that, my new job was emailing me necessities to get a US office set up. I was busy with all the minutia: creating marketing material, sourcing business cards, ordering an ipad, and salvaging meetings I had already set. I spent my last two weeks in my former life working to ensure I left on good terms. Oh yeah, and it was my birthday my last day of work. I know from photos that I celebrated, but it all felt like a blur.
I had three days between my last day in the office and the day I had to get on a plane for Vegas. I was in my apartment alone, so overwhelmed, and started to get this suffocating feeling that was super unfamiliar to me. I stood in my kitchen and focused on breathing deeply; it hit me, I was having a panic attack. I had literally put all of this pressure on myself for everything to be perfect and it sent me into a spiral. No one was demanding anything of me, but I always overachieved, especially in career, and all of that pressure, all of that panic, came from me. I did this.
The reality is, I did have a lot to do. It was all going to be fine. I didn’t have to hold myself to such a rigid timeline. It would all get done. If I had just calmed down and truly took a breath, I would have realized that I would figure it all out with time.
The Weeks to Follow:
I had a choppy fall travel schedule ahead. I wasn't in NYC for more than eight days consecutively from August to Thanksgiving. I was whining about it, but then reminded myself I was going to the Caribbean, Mexico, California, and back to the Caribbean—all warm weather beach destinations that I love—and I was going for work. I should have been on cloud nine.
I had a few days to regroup in NYC between trips. I felt better than I did a few weeks back, but still felt like I was surrounded by gray smog. Nothing was clear and I was in a total state of meh. Walking through Madison Square Park one day, I realized I could not crack an authentic smile. It was bizarre and it just didn’t feel like I was in my own body.
Luckily I had Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy at Tournesol Wellness scheduled for that day. Vibroacoustics is performed on a waterbed that looks like a massage table. Personalized sounds and vibrations are curated and run through the bed to recalibrate your system - it’s heavenly and also amazing for jet lag.
Tournesol was my center in the city - a place that always restored balance for me. When I got onto the vibroacoustic table with the founder, Carey Davidson, I just started balling. Looking back, clearly it was an intense emotional release and even with an hour on the table coupled with reiki, I still had not fully calmed down.
Carey, who is also a dear friend, mentioned there was another Practitioner, an Angel Healer, in residency at Tournesol who worked on her when she felt off. While she checked to see if he had any openings in his schedule, I pondered what exactly an Angel Healer was. I was pretty well versed in wellBEing modalities at this point, but even this was new to me - Carpe Diem, right?!
True to form, he had just had a cancellation and could see me that day. (Note: this man usually only comes to NYC once a month and is booked solid.) I honestly have no idea what actually went on in the Angel Healer treatment, but I can tell you this: out of it came yet another profound realization. As I sat there crying and rambling, explaining my new job, new life and uncertainty around it, how I didn’t feel like myself, and how sad it made me that my vision for UR had gone totally dark - he stopped me.
Then the Angel Healer said the words that forever changed my way of being. “At the pace you have been moving at, you are lucky that you are sitting here right now and that the universe hasn’t laid you up in the hospital to make you slow down.” Dumbfounded, I tried to explain that although I understood, I have this new job and trips lined up, but he stopped me again and said, “for 15 days you need to do nothing, as little as possible, just stop.” So I did.
The beginning of my reset:
October was refreshing, yet it felt unfamiliar, like I was floating. I had always been adaptable and able to switch gears quickly, yet always been in control. This version of me was airy, very ungrounded, almost like I was floating in a fishbowl. I was totally carefree, and while it didn’t feel entirely natural, I also didn’t hate it. I remember thinking to myself, people actually live in this state — they just float with no intention?
I had successfully refrained from overscheduling myself on a work trip. Much to my surprise, what happened was incredible: things just started to open up and clients who hadn’t gotten back to me suddenly had space for me. Not being on a total autopilot push, I finally felt like I could breathe.
I reached out to a life coach, Lisa de Narvaez, who I had almost worked with a year prior, and made loose plans to meet her while in California. I remember trying to slot her into a 45-minute window I had while in LA. She politely declined and told me to reach out over the weekend. Looking back, it was a reminder not to overschedule and to leave space. I reached out to Lisa over the weekend and we wound up going to dance a class and getting brunch; from then on, she became one of my most insightful friends. Had I just grabbed a quick coffee with her, I probably would have missed the true connection.
November is when I truly started to get back into the flow. The fog in my head started to clear. What was lingering instead were questions of how to move forward with my new found way of being.
I had led a successful trip with clients to the island I worked for. My last morning, I got up early to go for a swim in the ocean. In my happy place; I had moment of clarity. This always seems to happen when there is no pen in sight. What I remembered, was clear awareness -- I had more work to do.
Upon my return back to New York, I went in for my usual vibroacoustic session with Carey at Tournesol Wellness. We’d touched on leaving my last role and being told I couldn’t keep my old phone number. I was upset at first, but something in my gut reminded me it would make space. I decided that any person I had not texted with in a year and any guy I had dated that I had left a door open with, I would close. Which in short meant, none of them got my new number. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”, my mom always used to say. I chose to remove myself from pointless attention. In the day in age of social media - I figured anyone can find you if they tried.
However, there was that one guy. The one that came in and out of my life for several years. We’ll call him Mr. Gray - the perfect name for so many reasons. Most importantly, it was the overarching theme for all of our interactions: the in-between.
We both traveled extensively for work, were free spirited, yet grounded, open minded, kind, intelligent, and completely emotionally unavailable to each other. I adored my time with him. His perspective on life and human interaction fascinated me, primarily because he was incredibly well read and book smart, and I was emotionally intelligent. Till this day I have a massive respect for him as he’s one of the only men who really challenged me to get out of my comfort zone on so many different levels; some intentional, some definitely not.
What is so ironic about him is that up until he reads this, he probably has no idea what an incredible catalyst for self growth and discovery he was for me. Through my interactions with him, I learned to be vulnerable, hold my self worth, and use my voice to ask for what I needed. It taught me to walk away without anger, and to recognize that what someone could give me and what I needed were not mutually exclusive of each other. I also began to feel my emotions, as opposed to being too cool to acknowledge them. During one of our “talks” — which were more me rambling all the repressed emotional chitter chatter in my head — he said to me: If you were in transition when I met you, what do you think you’re in now?
He truly was a mirror that made me recognize that I was still in transition and still not emotionally available. The harsh reality is while I had come so far the past six months, I still had more inner work to do. Lastly, he also inadvertently sparked my fascination with the term “antifragility.”
As defined in Wikipedia: Antifragility is a property of systems that increase in capability, resilience, or robustness as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures. It is a concept developed by Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book, Anti-fragile and in technical papers. As Taleb explains in his book, antifragility is fundamentally different from the concepts of resiliency (i.e. the ability to recover from failure) and robustness (that is, the ability to resist failure). The concept has been applied in risk analysis, physics, molecular biology, transportation planning, engineering, Aerospace (NASA), and computer science. [source]
I had always been resilient; what I now was becoming was antifragile.
As I closed out 2016, I wrote this and was compelled to post it on my social media:
New Year 2017:
Sometimes before you “raise the bar”, my theme for 2017, you have to learn to sit in the uncomfortable. It’s as simple as not pretending you’re fine when you see an ex or letting a friendship you propelled fall away. It doesn’t always feel good in the moment, but once the moment passes you know you’re better for it. You get to a point in life where you are who you are, and people either like you for that person, or they don’t. Getting so comfortable in your own being and recognizing that someone may inspire you to evoke change is far different than someone changing you. No one changes unless they truly want to make the change.
To be honest, Q1 all just kind of blended together, but then it was April and time to let go of the last part of my old life — my 2,000 sq ft apartment on University Place. After nine years of apartment bliss, I was in a bad relationship with it. It was time to move on and just like leaving my job, the signs were coming loud and clear. All my belongings went into storage and thus started my quasi-nomadic tri-coastal adventure between NY, LA, and the Hamptons - with a few work trips to a private island in the Caribbean. When I say it out loud, it’s hard to believe that it’s actually my life. But it is my new reality.
I’d talked about being bicoastal for close to ten years and now was the time to give it a whirl. I worked from home, had disposable income, and my lease was up; I was in perfect alignment. My friend, Alison Lessard, reminded me, “Why be bicoastal, when you can be tri-coastal; after all you are a LEO.” I certainly was a go big or go home Leo and my yearly theme was “Raising the Bar” so that explanation made perfect sense.
My first stop was a West Coast sales trip for two weeks. My best friend Tracey had also just left her big corporate PR job and was also in the midst of hefty dose of self discovery, which ironically was running rather parallel to mine. We were off on a quick road trip, and as she popped the trunk of her Mercedes to reveal a vast array of crystals she was selling at pop up shops, I couldn’t help but chuckle, “who’d have ever thought I’d be homeless and you’d be selling crystals out of the trunk of your car?!” We both died laughing, but the reality was, it was so very true in that moment.
Aside from a two-week trip to Italy for a friends wedding, and a few days at surf camp in Portugal, I spent the summer “finding the rhythm of bicoastal.” Specifically, Amagansett when on the east coast; Venice, CA, when on the west coast. I also had a few obligatory pop ins to NYC for work, and a business trip to Las Vegas.
On each one of my little journeys, I started to keep a journal of my nomadic adventures. I had some very specific rules in my travels and was in a fortunate time of life that money was not my problem, and comfort was of the utmost importance.
I would not adult couch surf AKA stay in someone’s spare bedroom.
I would sublet my own place, so that I could create my own life, not be a guest in someone else’s.
I would be walking distance to a yoga studio.
I would have friends in the area.
I would be near a beach or a body of water whenever possible.
I would be in a clean, calming, and organized space.
Within days of being in Amagansett, I’d met a new friend, Laura, at a random dinner party. She quickly became my Hamptons bestie when we realized we lived down the street from each other. Laura was very New York with a southern upbringing; extremely caring and truly helped me get the lay of the land in Amagansett. We bonded over both having a Mr. Gray situation, our love of lobster rolls, summer bonfires, and beach days. It was also really nice having a friend to pal around with, yet still be able to do my own thing.
After a few weeks “out east,” I was off to Venice for close to a month. I watched myself chameleon from carefree east coast hamptons Galit to laid back california cool Galit. In Venice I palled around with Lisa de Narvaez, the epitome of west coast cool and 10-year resident of Venice. Just like Laura, Lisa showed me the ins and outs of Venice and truly personified west coast lifestyle, which I must admit, I fell into quite easily. Walks with her dog Pepper, stops for coffee, and chit chats with random people we ran into that she knew. I would always marvel how Lisa sauntered the streets in her effortlessly boho chic style - complete with a signature hat that most people would look ridiculous in.
In LA I happened to have a unicorn of a friend situation; one of those rare massive groups of best friends where we all truly love each other like family. While there are ever changing dynamics, on any given day there are about eight of us in the core group, and I’ve come to realize how incredible that is to have as an adult. Without really leaning on my obvious support system, what really struck me about my time in LA, was how quickly I was able to build my own life and create a new dynamic of friends where I was the nucleus.
In high school I was the “nice popular girl” and I like to joke that I was popular since nursery school. Making friends comes naturally to me, and I love to share and connect them to each other. It literally brings me an insane amount of joy — almost like a dopamine hit — when two of my friends become friends.
However, when I step back from my summer experiences, I really recognized how my skill as a connector had become one of my best gifts for grounding in new environments. The ability to create friendships and support systems around me, but also to find my greatest support, was within. It also really drove home the dichotomy of the relationships I was able to foster, and the energetic capacity I had for holding space for a myriad of dynamics. I thrived on existing in several social networks, which is more of a rarity, than a commonality.
While LA was filled with social obligations on weekdays as much as weekends, the Hamptons always provided breathing room during the week. Almost a forced sense of alone time, often filled by my best friend, “the beach”. I came to really love my morning yoga sessions, conference calls by the water, stops at the fish market and early evenings. I spent a lot of time with myself, and realized I honestly and truly really liked spending time with me, alone. I always had a ton of self confidence and liked the person I was, but this summer I truly fell in love with myself, my person, my being. I loved me and I loved spending time with me.
September and October were a blur with a whole new set of lessons thrown in. It was like a master class testing my ability to put my new found learnings into action. You can do the work, but you have to change patterns to evoke real change.
First, I was totally moving in a flow; so much so that I decided on where I was subletting the day before I left the Hamptons. I knew it would work out, so I didn’t stress. And guess what, it did, in the apartment of my recently engaged friend, Manuela. Her gorgeous abode at a prime West Village address further enhanced the clarity of what I needed in a more permanent living situation in NYC. My sister often reminds me about the time I almost sublet a 6th-floor walk up when I whine about the five flights up to her Lower East Side loft.
Second, I was learning to celebrate small successes in my new job before my bigger visions come to fruition. Work was going well and business was starting to shift. I had begun reviving and building a consistent pipeline of new business for the private island I worked for. The basics of sales 101: it is that it is much harder to find new business than to grow existing business. While terribly hard on myself throughout the process; looking back, I’m quite proud of what I accomplished within a year, with much less resources than I had in my previous role. To sum it up, for the first few months of my new job, I cried each time I did an expense report; not because I was above it, just because it wasn’t something I had done for myself in many years.
Third, I had two very wise woman remind me that while connecting brought me joy, I should hold back if ever it made me feel icky. Ironically, I had be swirling the idea all summer of doing some consulting and business development crossing wellbeing brands into luxury hospitality. I had an incredibly established global network in luxury hospitality, and over the past year had built up a new network in the wellbeing sector between New York and LA. It made perfect sense.
I started to dip my toe in the idea of it by casually speaking to a few potential brands. Skill wise it was definitely something that resonated with me, but for some reason, it didn’t feel joyously infectious — just ok. When a brand that had been pursuing me pumped me for strategies and gave me that “icky” feeling after my 3rd meeting with them, it was the beginning sign that this wasn’t the right direction.
A few weeks later, I showed up crying at Lisa’s house in Venice. I couldn’t get my website together, my business cards wouldn’t arrive on time and a myriad of other challenges with this new endeavour had presented themselves - yet still I was pushing. Lisa told me that maybe I should take a breath. I, of course, ignored her in the moment. Lisa was one of the emerging leaders in the Breathwork movement so obviously this would be her advice. However, when I let go and surrendered, I realized she was right, and that I was yet again, moving too fast. The wise words of the Angel Healer a year prior came back into play: STOP. So I did.
The last big lesson of the fall was holding my self worth and not lowering my standards because I was getting attention from someone who was “almost” good enough. All my life I had heard “the story” of not being “too picky” or that “no one is perfect,” and I had confused that with accepting “not good enough” or seeing what “could be” in someone: the celebrity fitness trainer, the drunk banker, the insecure nightlife guy, the delusional LA talent agent. Within a span of four weeks all served as yet another healthy dose of lessons from the universe that made it quite clear there was another pattern I needed to change. So I put my head down again and went back to work within; always with complete faith that there were great men out there, but none had revealed themselves to me yet. In any moment of doubt, I reminded myself of all the standup men in my life - my dad, my grandfathers, my uncle, my first cousin, my guy friends, my bosses, and so many of my friend’s husbands.
Late Fall 2017
I had a chance encounter back in September 2016 at a luxury travel conference in Mexico. I had wound up in golf cart at one of the resorts enroute to the opening speaker session and got to chatting with an engaging guy who happened to have heard of the private island I worked for. I gave him my card and told him if he ever wanted to come, to let me know. He said that at the moment he had all his money tied up in a project he was working on in Powder Mountain. As I got out of the golf cart, I turned to him and said, “well sounds like if that works out, you can come to Mustique!”
A few minutes later, I walked into the opening session; he was the keynote speaker. It was Brett Leve, one of the Founders of Summit Series, an incredible organization that brings together dynamic thought leaders and changemakers. A few weeks later, I got a note from Brett’s assistant, personally inviting me to their yearly gathering, Summit at Sea in November 2016. Yet another lesson, I didn’t see immediately, was trust the timing. I didn’t go in 2016, but I did in 2017.
I had accepted that I would have no business cards for Summit Series, and realized very quickly that it wasn’t that type of place anyways. Each person I met were in awe when I answered the usual get-to-know-you questions: I’m the Director of Sales & Marketing for a private island in the Caribbean; I’ve been living between New York, LA, and the Hamptons; Oh my name, it means Gentle Little Wave and I was born in Israel. I was suddenly way more interesting—in a sea of insanely interesting people — then I had ever actually realized. I had to kind of pause, and really just take in the moment, recognizing who I was, the life I had created and how incredible it truly was.
As I sat listening to all these world renowned speakers—many of whom were authors—I was internally eliciting subtle moments of inquiry. Was I capable of doing more? What else could I do? What else should I do? Could I stand on stage and speak so passionately? Was I an expert in anything?
Then it was two conversations a few months back that kept ringing in my head. First, it was Tracey’s words that hit me hard and dumbfounded me. “You need to go bigger G and not be the commodity,” she said. “How will you live the life you want if you’re the commodity?” Huh, she was right, I had to go back to the drawing board! Then it was, why don’t you write a book, my younger, yet wiser sister, casually said after one of my lengthy dissertations about how she needs to see herself as other people see her. “People are always coming to you for advice, and you’re forever helping people. Can’t you write a book about that?” she said. My sister’s words I immediately dismissed and thought, “but seriously, what would I write a book about?”
December 22nd, 2017
It was my last day in NYC before heading to my parent’s house for the holidays. It was a Friday and I’d put five different workout classes on my calendar knowing I would ultimately go to one. Structure with options, I like to call it. I chose a 2pm class at Yoga Vida.
Almost ten years ago, I learned to love yoga at this studio. I credit this to my first yoga teacher, Hilaria Thomas (Baldwin), who made yoga approachable and fun. The simple and spacious room overlooking University Place had been the space for so many of my ephiny moments over the years.
As I went through the sequences in class, I remember feeling like this is exactly what I needed; mentally and physically - it was magical. A few minutes before savasana, my mind cleared and light tears started streaming down my face. My mind just wouldn’t stop moving and connecting. I bolted out of class and started writing in a subconscious flow in the notes section of my iphone; the same place where I’d written the initial framework for UR Social Club, almost exactly three years before.
My Words in the Notes Section of my iPhone:
Real Stories Mini Memoirs of Change + Crash + Transition + Anti-fragility An inspiring compilation of real woman inspiring humans in transition on their quest to live their lives by their true human design The “Club” is UR - two letters that evoke the most spiritual message out there YOU ARE Through my own transitions I’ve I’ve leaned on a massive community or club, as it just sounds sexier and more exclusive
The End, For Now:
I’m going to end my chapter with the unabashed certainty that I was meant to write this book and that it is only the beginning of my life’s work - -which is to connect and inspire others in hopes of them finding support, joy and collaboration through change and transition. It is my love letter to my late larger than life and inspiring entrepreneurial grandfathers and my incredible friend Diem Brown, who all made this world a better place and brought constant joy to those around them. It is a thank you to my incredible parents, who were truly put on this earth to be parents. They created a vortex of unconditional love, endless support and brazen self belief.
With the principle you are who you attract, and owning that I am a dynamic human who attracts other dynamic humans. Know that this collection of real stories, written from the hearts of dynamic, real and inspiring humans, all who i’ve asked to bare their souls and share a diary-like entry in hopes of helping others. Know that all the laughs, tears, failures, triumphs, let downs, self discovery and all the in between are part of transitions which results in change.
Everyone has a story and you are about to embark on many journeys and gain entry into UR Social Club - Tales of Transition. Remember, if change was easy, everyone would do it.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this. It often seems that once you’re through a major transition you’re in the safe zone. Every chapter will end with the same 3 powerful words because we are never done evolving and there’s always another chapter of change and transition to embark on. Collectively our voices are stronger and our unique experiences vaster. The truth is we are all connected.
TO BE CONTINUED…….
What someone can give you and what you need are not mutually exclusive. This holds true in love, life, career, friendship.
The hamster wheel moves fast; and it’s often uncomfortable and unfamiliar when you get off.
STOP. Even when it feels counterintuitive. It’s how we tell our energy to reset.
Pay attention when a pattern of things not going right presents itself; this often signifies that it’s time to make some kind of shift.
If you live in NYC and decide to put your stuff in storage, I recommend a service like Box Butler. This way when you wind up nomadic longer than you anticipated, you can have your belongings properly categorized and delivered to you as you need them - instead of playing jenga in a storage unit.