From left: Shamma, Haanim, Asha, Karlene, Hilda, Nimmie, Kanaga, Roshan, Sheela
Founder & Organizer: Asha Menon
Co-Organizer: Nirmala Shanmugam
Influencers: Dato Rozalila, Asha Gill, Roopi Lakhiani, Andal Krishnan, Pathma Krishnan, Aanantha Rajaram, Sheela Devi
The token of appreciation for the influencers - it symbolizes the Hindu Goddess of Prosperity (Lakshmi), in line with the retreats' theme centered around #womanempowerment
Having been to a life-changing retreat in Spain, Asha Menon, Founder/CEO of AMTalent Partners felt that such an experience should be made available to women in Malaysia. She was inspired to create a one-of-a-kind retreat that would transform women’s lives in Malaysia. The mastermind behind the first ever Find Your Mojo Retreat, Asha Menon is a Transformational Executive Career Coach. She launched her independent HR and IR consulting company in early 2018. She has an impressive list of qualifications. Most recently, she was conferred “Malaysia’s Most Talented HR Leaders”in 2018 and last year the "Top 100 Most Influential Global HR Leaders" by the World HRD Congress, awards which were not applied for, but rather awarded in recognition of her passion and contributions to the HR industry.
Asha asked herself “If not me, who? If not now, when?”. Not knowing if her idea would work in Malaysia, Asha took a leap of faith. She collaborated with long-time friend and co-organizer, Nirmala “Nimmie” Shanmugam to create Find Your Mojo Retreat.
Nimmie is a Distinguished Toastmaster and Founder of Pure Possibilities. She is a New Zealand resident and flew in to Malaysia to attend the retreat.
The pair worked tirelessly for 2.5 months and fleshed out the star-studded program. The Influencers who jumped on board are some of the most confident and respected public figures in the country.
The chosen location is nestled in pristine rainforest. The Dusun emerges from in the mist like in a fairytale. The fresh cool air resonates with a symphony of crickets, frogs and gibbons. A tapir was very recently sighted on the Dusun grounds. It's a haven for both humans and critically endangered wildlife. The sprawling property is comprise of seven quaint houses: the Perling Air House, Perling Bukit House, Lanai House, Sora House, Tembusu House, Berembun House and Emas House.
On day one, the participants gathered in living room of Lanai house. They answered the question: “What sets you on fire?” which allowed them to get to know each other in an authentic, meaningful way.
The retreat was kicked off by guest of honour and Entrepreneur, Dato Rozalila Abdul Rahman. She talked about her path from leading a team in a big corporation to becoming her own boss. She shared her wisdom collected from years of working with the Malaysia market.
Dato Rozalila was the founding member and Chief Executive Officer of Astro GS Shop Sdn Bhd. She played an instrumental role in the success of Go Shop as the Number One TV home shopping brand in Malaysia. Dato Rozalila leadas by example and inspires other women to think big and achieve their goals through determination, commitment and confidence.
One of the not-so-secret ingredients to building a bright future is to embrace a Growth Mindset. Asha led Workshop 1 : Embracing a Growth Mindset and The Art of Goal Getting. There are many ways to move forward but one sure way to fall behind...complacency. How do we fiercely shift our mindset to be growth oriented? Asha guided the participants to tackle the art of setting goals and crushing them.
One of the blockages that hold people back from their growth is the fear of not being enough. This block is all too real for too many women.
After Lunch and check-in, Nimmie led the second workshop: I AM ENOUGH! #ThisIsMe (The Greatest Showman): Awakening the inner child in YOU.
The recurring theme throughout the retreat was healing...from physical challenges, emotional set-backs and blocks, and unlocking limiting beliefs.
Asha Gill is a Confidence Builder, Breakthrough Collaborator, Life Coach and Hypnotherapist.
She led the third workshop: ‘Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life’. The tribe explored how to apply this to their daily life to get the results they want. Asha guided them to explore a very simple process to tap into the greatest resource we have: Change.
Asha Gill, ran Workshop 4: Hypnosis: Not A Mystical Experience. The state of hypnosis is a very natural state of being. In fact, we access this state many times a day without realizing it. The sense of stillness brought by the hypnotic state leads the way to joy. Why is it important, what do we get from it and how do we get there on ‘purpose’? Asha gave the tribe a taster of what hypnotherapy is all about and held a self-hypnosis session.
My Story, My Journey: Participant 1. Haanim Bamadhaj, shared the wisdom she acquired while running The Dusun in this sharing session called “Leading With Love.
Haanim, General Manager of The Dusun
Haanim, General Manager of The Dusun
Day One ended under bright moonlight. The tribe sipped hot chocolate and debriefed about what they learned during the day before heading to their respective houses by torchlight. There was unanimous sense that their inner light was brighter after such a inspiring day.
Let's begin with a Powerful Morning Flow.
Participants were gifted a Gratitude Journal. Practising gratitude is a recommended practice for putting things in perspective and expanding positive energy.
At 7 a.m, to the calls of gibbons in the jungle, Sheela Devi, Founder/ Yoga Instructor of Sutra Yoga Centre led the tribe into a rejuvenating,endorphin-inducing yoga session. Sheela is a specialist in Asthanga principles. This mindful moment was made even more delightful by fresh morning air and rising sun.
Why as women do we have these giddy peaks and then end up in a trough until the next spurt? Can we be more sustainable and equipoised? Andal Krishnan, EXCO Member of NAWEM, NLP Practitioner led the tribe into Workshop 6: “Women - Be Perennial NOT Seasonal” where she guided the tribe to minimize the drops and enjoy the adventures we encounter in our lives.
Andal dedicated a beautiful original poem to the tribe on Finding Their Mojo:
The dynamism and optimism in Life will lead us to our MOJO.
In every phase there is a Mojo - it will shine and show the path.
The Magic, the muse, the miracle - these exist
Waiting to be discovered.
Sometimes near, sometimes a little far
They come when you call
They give when you ask
They shine when you walk
They watch and they bless.
As Oscar Wilde famously said: be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Our life experiences whether joyful or painful are unique. Our story is our own. Roopi Lakhiani, Trainer/Facilitator of The Art of Public Speaking, conducted a public speaking exercise where the tribe shared a life lesson drawn from their own experiences. It was a emotional experience for some, tears were spilled and hugs were dispensed. All in all, it was cathartic.
From Shamma's Instagram [ @sham.jolimie ]
After lunch, the tribe embarked on a Mastermind Hike also called a Shit List / Idea machine. The idea is to challenge the body and mind to overcome frustrations, limiting beliefs and blockages. As they hiked in pairs, the tribe confided in their fellow members about items on their Shit List and brainstormed ideas on how to overcome them.
Painting a picture
Nimmie conducted an exercise to guide the tribe in Workshop 7: Vision Your Desired Life & Paint a Picture. The tribe drew their vision board with the positive things that they wish to attract in their lives.
Prior to the retreat, Asha had the tribe fill out two quizzes: Tony Robin’s Disc Assessment– Focused on Behavioral Style & Values Index and Linda Rottenberg’s entrepreneurial personality type. In this session, Asha analyzed and interpreted the results to help the tribe understand their WHY and HOW.
My Story, My Journey: Participant 2: Hilda Alposilva, single mother, career woman, president of an affiliate association and a part-time hustler in the insurance business, told the tribe an incredibly touching personal story of how she became resilient and how she powered through the highs and lows of her eventful life.
7 am yoga with Sheela was a welcome moment of stillness. The guided meditation help to quiet and refresh minds.
Pathma Krishnan, is a Certified Social Auditor and Compliance Trainer, Regional Coordinator for Global Union on Gender Equality and Inclusive Education in the Asia Pacific Region. She ran Workshop 10: Unlock Your Feminine Power. Through various exercises, she got the tribe to reflect on their current practices in exuding their feminine energy and went on to teach how to unlock the revolutionary Feminine Power system and expand their ability to transform their lives.
Radio Personality and Entertainer, Aanantha Rajaram made a special surprise appearance and led the discussion on the importance of enlisting men into women’s empowerment movement as part of the finale. In this lively and insightful session, the tribe highlighted the necessity of redefining masculinity and educating the future generation to break the cycle of misogyny and chauvinism. Our special thanks and appreciation to Aanantha for being such a spot in taking on questions spontaneously and for being so stoked in being part of this initiative. It was our lucky day as we chanced for a song request and were mesmerized to a beautiful Bollywood song sung by Aanantha to bring the retreat to a wrap.
The tribe had their portraits taken by International Award Winning photographer Shamma Esoof. She specializes in portraiture that brings out the essence and uniqueness of people and animals. The purpose of the portraits was to capture the Goddess energy and inner light that radiated from each tribe member after the enlightening experiences of the past three days.
The tribe celebrated Karlene with a surprise birthday party, complete with cake and champagne. A well deserved reward for the entire tribe.
Around the table, conservation was buzzing about what they learned, in what ways they grew and how they would be implementing the lessons in their daily lives. The X-factor that brought the tribe closer was the spirit of sisterhood. A spirit that will endure even beyond the retreat. To show their mutual admiration and appreciation, the tribe left "sugar cubes" for each other - handwritten notes in dedicated envelopes.
The one takeaway that from all the workshops is that saying YES to our own power, potential and abilities is the first step towards living a fulfilled life.
From Shamma's Instagram: @sham.jolimie
The tribe said an emotional goodbye to each other.
"Zen is not about giving you grandeur on miracles. It is to allow you to experience your present".
What they were taking back with them was priceless. The feeling of a calm mind, a full heart and rejuvenated body to pursue your "mojo". A feeling of Zen.
Remember to - Find Your Mojo and Live a Purposeful Life!
Poster Designs: Asha Menon