Practicing Conscious Leadership – Ep.88

A Framework for Inclusivity – Ep.87
May 3, 2023
Creating Inclusive Healthcare and Wellness – Ep.89
May 17, 2023

Marika Messager shares tools for becoming a conscious leader and discusses how organizations can practice this approach to influence systemic change within their business. 

Melyssa Barrett: Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity and inclusion. Each week I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in the space. Let’s get started. Marika Messager is a conscious leader, visionary teacher, researcher in consciousness, elevating individuals, businesses and the global community into a new paradigm of positive and purposeful impact. Making it to the seven figure annual compensation at the age of 31, the year she gave birth to her son. By age 33, Marika was appointed as one of the youngest female sales managers with 40 people across Europe under her supervision. Her success led her to realize what was missing from her own career and the corporate world; conscious leadership. Marika’s particular path toward conscious leadership took her out of the corporate world and on a worldwide adventure where she trained in integral coaching, yoga, mindfulness, bio-energetic healing and hypnotherapy. She also developed an interest in indigenous healing practices, and particularly the influence of consciousness and the mind on the process of healing.

Instead of leaving the business world forever, this experience inspired her to build a system of development that would transcend the leadership status quo and align businesses with a positive impact. Okay. I’m excited this week to bring Marika Messager. Did I say that right?

Marika Messager: Perfect.

Melyssa Barrett: Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m just excited because of all of the things that you’re doing. You are coming to me from around the world on the other side, but I love to hear that you’re focusing on consciousness and all of those things. So before we jump in to all the things that you’re doing, I would just love to hear a little bit of background about you and how you even got to this point.

Marika Messager: Okay. So I’m French, as you can hear, although I’ve been living in London for 16 years now. I started my career in finance as an equity sales side analyst. So I was next to a trading floor and producing some investment ideas, and then I moved to an equity sales role. So then I was selling the ideas, and then I was head of equities for Europe and Middle East, for a French bank. I mean, it’s used to be called Newedge, now it belongs to Societe Generale. I did that for 14 years. At the end, I was managing 40 people. I also started to work on myself when I was 28, I’m 47 now, because I had some personal issues. I was living in Paris at the time, so the only thing that sounded available to me was therapy so I started with that. But I really discovered very early on the power of self-transformation and what it makes possible in your life, if you start to understand how you function as a human being and embark on this kind of journey to evolve and better yourself. I mean, I did many disciplines because I started to get passionate about self-development and what it means to be human. I saw the impact on my work. I saw that I was managing people better, that I was coaching and mentoring them actually.

Because when you manage salespeople, that’s what you do. You teach them how to be better sales and that has an element of emotional intelligence of course. So I was really connecting the dots between inner change and outer change. I started to get not so excited about finance and the next rank on the ladder, which was basically global head of equity. Which would have meant more travel, which I like, but also more meetings, more compliance, all of that. And I just was really curious about self-development. In 2012, my company was going through a restructuring and my boss said to me in September 2012, “Marika, your job is dead at the end of the year. I can’t have a head of equities.” He said, “I’ll give you another one. Do you want to be global head of research?” I was like, “No. Actually I’m going to stop. I’m going to pursue this thing inside of me to actually understand myself and human beings.” So I stopped in 2012 at the end, and I gave myself two years to continue to explore and to really train into some disciplines that I had found beneficial for me. So I trained as an integral coach. I trained as a clinical hypnotherapist. I trained as a yoga teacher, as a mindfulness teacher, as a bioenergy therapist. I also worked with shamans. I stayed a month in the forest in Brazil, and I was initiated in a lineage of healers.

So a big, big exploration that really gave me a framework and really some codes around consciousness. And what it really means to elevate your consciousness, how you do it, and what are the benefits and what it makes possible. And then I applied that to leadership because the more conscious you are, the more you see things with clarity. Consciousness in a way can be defined as truth. As you see things as they truly are it’s like, what are you going to do with them? Can you become a leader in using the truth as a force for good? And because I had this business background and I love business, that’s how it started.

Melyssa Barrett: Wow, that’s phenomenal. Well, and I love that you’re talking about consciousness because obviously we know a lot of politicians that could use some consciousness in their lives, especially from a leadership perspective. So then in terms of, I mean, I love the fact that you call consciousness truth. Even though you said no to the head of researcher position, you are a consciousness researcher.

Marika Messager: Yeah. I love research, I love research. I love to understand systems and how they function and how to make them better. That’s a passion, what can I say?

Melyssa Barrett: So how does that … I know, related to business the state of consciousness as we think about leadership. How do you actually practice conscious leadership?

Marika Messager: Well, we have plenty of models in our tools and basically in our transformation property, intellectual property. One of the models that we have at the individual level is that consciousness sits on three pillars; clarity, presence and creation. And that we need to understand each pillar and pay as much attention to each pillar, so one-third, one-third, one-third. And clarity is really the self-awareness, knowing the self so that you understand what is you, and what is not you. Who is it really that I am versus the person that I have been programmed to be by my childhood, my parents, society, religion, culture? All of that, so that we forge our inner alignment. Then presence is about emotional intelligence, so really having the capacity to be emotionally agile so that we can respond to challenges and opportunities in a way we’re proud of. So we are mastering our emotions and we therefore can master our energy and we can influence the room with our energy. And then we have creation, which is the execution process that also involves spiritual intelligence, because there is an element of understanding the bigger picture of something and flowing with things. So those are the three pillars. A lot of people in the world we live in spend most of their time in the creation bit.

So they do, they do, they do, but they don’t take enough time to think about, what is it they really want that is aligned with who they really are. And they sometimes fail to master their emotions in the process. They might create out of fear let’s say, I’m in between two jobs and I’m going to take this one because I’m scared that I will be out of job for too long, but I’m not really aligned with that job. Those type of mistakes are not best choices, let’s put it this way. So presence is also really important. Clarity and presence are really the foundation of creating something, a life that is aligned with who we are and therefore enjoyable.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, right? Well, and it’s so interesting because you talk about alignment, and I think a lot of people are interested in being socially conscious. But I think you really talk a lot about using consciousness for good and how to do good based on your consciousness. And to me this is where, from my perspective, I feel like this is the hard work that we do on ourselves that a lot of people just don’t do. It’s like, you don’t want to be that conscious about yourself maybe. I don’t know. But to me it’s like, the more conscious you are and the more aligned, it’s so freeing. Is there a way that you can better use consciousness to do good in the world?

Marika Messager: Of course. I strongly believe that the private sector has a lot of power to create systemic change these days. So if we transform the way we work, if we transform organizations and how we relate within an organization … the purpose of the organization and the relationships between all the stakeholders, we are going to demonstrate a new way to live, a new way to work, a new way to be, a new way to relate. So if we change … Same as we have clarity, presence and creation, for an organization we have profit, people and planet. So if we move away from an organization that is only focused on profit but we also integrate the pillars of people and planet, we have new organizations. There is a very simple code that says, take care of your people, the business will take care of itself. But it’s really bringing that element into an organization and creating those conscious cultures that creates a more caring world, to say the least, but also a more prosperous world. Because we have data … and I’ve seen in my own experience in our business.

But there is a lot of data that now proves that actually those cultures are not only creating more innovation but also more engagement, more impact and more profit for themselves.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. It’s amazing.

Marika Messager: In the world.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, absolutely. Which is why a lot of CEOs, to me, we should be spreading that kind of wealth throughout the organization through that personal development and professional development. Because the more you get into it, it’s like the more benefit you get. But I recognize … and everything is not always inexpensive either, but just creating that connection to a higher purpose is amazing to me. I know that you have, and I think we talked a bit about some of the systemic change that I know you get involved in, in transforming organizations. I would love to have you talk a little bit about what that looks like from a consciousness perspective, and maybe even get into your Consciousness Library. Tell us a little bit about what that is and how people can get involved.

Marika Messager: Sure. So with organization, I’ve worked with organizations for the last 10 years but my approach to organization has been evolving over the years. It’s been in resonance with the evolution of the consciousness within organizations. At the beginning I was … I mean, we still need that, but I was adamant that consciousness and conscious leadership had to come from the top. So if the leader is not aligned with the principles of conscious leadership, it’s going to be impossible to align the organization with them. So we started by working with some C-level executives and some entrepreneurs and work at that level. And then what happened is that as they became more conscious, those leaders were asking me, “Can you come in my organization because there is something wrong there.” So it was really aligned with their needs. I’ve done many things. I’ve coached some executive board members on some kind of directors level where I was following them during the meetings and for a few days. So that already kind of shifts because there is suddenly a common language. Everybody is starting to see things from the same perspective because I am teaching them tools to actually see the whole picture. So that common language is making things much easier, because then the communication is much more freed and you don’t really get stuck for so long, right? People are able to understand what’s going on.

And then we also did some workshops for the whole organization so that everybody, we cascade conscious leadership throughout the organization and that creates cultural change. Cultural change is really, it’s not everybody at the same time. We need some people who are going to be ambassadors and then become role models. They will inspire other people to do the same and little by little, the culture really changes. But we need some early adopters that are going to embody this change and prove that it’s possible and show where it’s taking everyone. Yeah. And throughout all the research over the last two years I was really asking myself, how could we approach an organization altogether, not just the leaders? Because it’s really difficult. One of the main challenges when I ask leaders, what’s your biggest people problem? They say that it’s really hard to get people to level up, and particularly at the middle management level. Because at the top level, the leaders will get one-on-one coaching. They are being taken care of. When you’re a middle manager … And that’s expensive, one-on-one coaching for a year.

And then it’s like, are we going to invest that money at the middle management level? Because it’s more people and it’s still the same amount, right? So there is actually very little of coaching offered to middle management. It’s a training here and there but it’s kind of lacking. And then there is nothing for people who are below middle management. It’s a shame. It’s like, we need to wait for leaders to transform so that they understand that they need to bring this within the organization. Then it’s a slow process, which is why I’ve decided to create the Conscious Library, which basically regroups all the trainings, all the research that we have done over the last 10 years, and makes it available for all employees within an organization. It’s very easy to access because we’ve used those pillars of clarity, presence and creation and designed 12 questions per pillar that are very tangible. Let’s say, if we look at the presence pillar the questions could be, how do I improve my self-confidence? How do I raise my resilience? How do I work on my fear of visibility? But also deeper questions like, how do I release some emotional baggage? How do I forgive?

So we really give people the tools to work with the level of consciousness they are at. I know it’s very tangible, but you can go deeper. We are right now actually pitching that library so that it’s being bought by a company for all employees. So everybody will have the tools to become more conscious.

Melyssa Barrett: Yes, I love it. I love it. Well, and you make such a good point. Because I mean, at the end of the day as an entrepreneur and a CEO, you want to make sure that your team has all the tools. But there is this challenge that we go through in terms of, how do we make sure that we’re stretching our finances appropriately and that we’re putting the emphasis where it needs to be? So I love the fact that you’re using a platform to really systematize and operationalize conscious leadership training in a way that is just more connected. Because I feel like a lot of people might use some sort of virtual training, but it doesn’t make you think in a way that really impacts and connects you with clarity. I think that’s so important. So when you’re talking about systemic change and leading organizations through transformation … I mean, I know we spent some time talking about authentic truth and kind of making sure that we’re free from bias. But I would love to have you talk a little bit about … I might be saying it wrong. I want to say it was Lamu?

Marika Messager: Yes.

Melyssa Barrett: To really talk about the … I mean, to actually see how this works and to be able to measure levels of consciousness that actually impact our own communities, is actually pretty amazing. So I love the fact that you have this kind of global view of being able to prove out the conscious leadership.

Marika Messager: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share that because it’s very close to my heart, this project. But it’s true. Part of holding the conscious leadership vision it’s like, we have to demonstrate what it looks like. That is really systemic change. Show me where you want to take me and then I’ll go. It’s easier, right? I know it worked, right, so I’ll follow you. Well, two years ago actually … it’s not so long. Yeah. So it was December 2020. Yeah, is that Yes. December 2020, I had some holidays booked with my son who is now 15. It was to go to Spain to Tenerife. I had a friend there and two days before our flight he told me, “You can’t come. They’re going to shut the frontiers, you won’t fly.” I was desperate to go somewhere. I looked online and a few countries were open but not so many, and Kenya was one of them. I could find some tickets and a place to stay, and a friend of mine had told me about Lamu years ago.

So I looked at it, and I booked everything and I went to bed. And then when I woke up, Tenerife was not shut down so I had two holidays.

Melyssa Barrett: Oh, wow.

Marika Messager: Yeah. I chose Lamu because the other one was easier to cancel, but I ended up staying three months because of lockdowns and online schooling, with a suitcase of a two-week holiday. But in Lamu, there was no lockdown, there were no masks, people were out all the time. Nobody was sick so it was suddenly like life again. I felt so grateful to be here but it was also good that I was there. Because my clients were really suffering mentally, emotionally, so at least I could be my best to support them because I was in that lovely environment. So because I love research, I started to think about things to do here. And when you are somebody who wants to have a positive impact and you go to Kenya, I mean, it’s a playground. There is everything, right? You can work on the environment, on the conservancy, with the children, the women, everything. There is so much to do. We started by doing a woman leadership day in Lamu. That was really cool. But then that gave me the kind of confirmation to create a retreat in Lamu.

I did that a year later. It was still COVID times so I ended up with only three clients, three fantastic women. It was a crazy story. Two women on the day of arrival couldn’t make it. They had an issue. But it was a great experience. And that retreat, it’s called Awaken, and the goal is really to elevate your consciousness. So there is not so much about business but it’s really tuning into you and releasing the belief systems that are limiting and the emotional baggage, and all of that. But there is also an element of it that is around making a contribution, using who you are, your uniqueness to contribute to the betterment of the world. On the first day of the retreat there was a fashion show at Peponi Hotel, which is the hotel there.

Melyssa Barrett: Nice.

Marika Messager: It’s a small village. It was the kids from Ubunifu, who is an initiative, an NGO that has the vision to build an art center for the kids of the village. So that they can have a safe space where they can learn new skills and build a better future for themselves. We’re talking about children who sometimes don’t have food to eat on the table at lunch. So it’s really, it means a lot. The fashion show was beautiful and my three clients were really touched. And then I went to bed and I woke up at 3:00 AM with a vision that we could help. I had met Nyambura before, who is the founder of the organization. I was like, we could raise some money. We could do a documentary. We could do a show. Because Zoe works in the art world and Shelly has a production company. So it all worked out, and they all said yes.

Melyssa Barrett: Wow.

Marika Messager: And then we went to Nyambura, who is the founder and we said, “We’ve got this idea. You’ve got the land, but you need to build a center and we want to help and raise some money.” And she said yes. And within three months we created an event in London at Hauser & Wirth, which is a leading art gallery. We raised a lot of money. And this is all because we gave our time and we collaborated, and we shared the same vision and we were aligned in terms of values. We were so efficient to make that happen in three months, invite the people. Bring everything from Lamu, the paintings, the outfits, and create a documentary. It was a lot of work for women who already are very busy. But it was beautiful. And now I’m at the board of the NGO as well and the art center has been built. It’s also really nice to see that it’s done. The money has been raised and it’s been used. And now we’re also doing more research on inclusion, diversity and equity in Lamu. Because it’s a place where you have some influences from Africa, India and Arabic countries, so it’s a lot of tribes. It’s a very small place and it’s a completely different system.

So for me it’s really an incubator for systemic change because you can really see, what are the issues? Just in terms of inclusion and discrimination, you can see very clearly that it’s on both sides. For instance, if I go to a shop in Lamu, I’m going to be given a higher price because my skin is white. We all know this, but I speak about it with local peoples because I’m really researching that. They all agree to that. But then at the same time, if I am a tourist and I go to a local shop, I’m going to say it’s a local shop so I shouldn’t pay as much than in the hotel shop. And that’s also discrimination, right? We really need to see that it’s coming on both aspects so that we can heal it, and meet in a place of safety and neutrality. I’m having those conversations with grass root leaders there. It’s very interesting because they also want to have the conversation. They are very aware of all these issues and they are curious to make some changes.

The beauty of it is that because it’s a small system, we can really see the impact much quicker and create change easier.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. Well, I love how, I mean, you literally went in and made the change and utilized all the components that you talk about when you’re talking about a new paradigm of leadership. Because I know we spent some time talking about collaboration and co-creation, compassion and creativity and all of those things. So I love that you could do something like that and pull it off in three months. It’s pretty amazing. But usually when you give something to busy women, they get it done quickly because they’re busy. I love that.

Marika Messager: They’re efficient. They have to be efficient, right?

Melyssa Barrett: Exactly. I love it. It’s amazing to me because I think you said this is also a place that doesn’t have cars, right?

Marika Messager:

Yeah, no cars, only donkeys. Only donkeys.

Melyssa Barrett: Oh, wow. I mean, it’s just so interesting to me. Because you think about diversity, equity and inclusion … I of course worked in payment technology so your mind is always on something digital, infrastructure, whatever. But you can see when you talk about culture, you don’t even have to go that deep because it’s really within us, that level of consciousness, which is awesome. I know you talked about the Conscious Library and you’re doing so many different things in terms of leveling up people’s consciousness, Awaken being one. I think you said it was like a nine-day program, if I remember correctly.

Marika Messager: Yeah. It’s seven nights and nine days in Kenya in Lamu.

Melyssa Barrett: Oh, I mean, that sounds like a treasure. Treasure. So some of the things you were talking about is just how to level up, even preparing for important presentations and attracting particular talent and things of that nature. Are there things that you would recommend as people are thinking about their own level of consciousness?

Marika Messager: We have four bodies, the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. Not a lot of people know that. But if you want to start to assess your level of consciousness, you can write down those four bodies. And you’re like okay, between one and 10, 10 being amazing, how do I feel mentally? Am I sharp? Am I focused or do I have some mental fog? Do I dwell into negative thoughts? All of those things. So that’s going to give you one element of measure. Then you look at your emotional body. You’re like okay, how do I feel emotionally? Am I overwhelmed? I am generally neutral or happy? How do I manage challenges? How do I respond to opportunities? Am I proud of myself in the way I respond when I am challenged? How well do I know my triggers and what happens when I’m emotionally triggered? Do I have some tools? How strong is my level of self-discipline to support my emotional agility? Give yourself a rate. And then we do that with the physical body so this is more, how do I feel in my physical body? Do I feel like, do I like my body? Do I feed my body well? Do I take good care of my body? Do I do the right exercise? How is my level of strength, my level of flexibility, my endurance, my resilience? All of that.

The last one is the spiritual one, so how do we rate the spiritual body? You can ask yourself two things. First is, do I like what I do? Which means, are you connected with something that holds meaning for you, that we could start to look at as a purpose? So that’s one element. And then the second element is, what is your understanding around energy and the interconnectedness of everything? How skilled are you with energetic tools and quantum physics? Because this is also spiritual intelligence, understanding really how to bring ideas into matter. So that’s also an element. And when you’ve done all those rates, you start with the body that has a lower rate and ask yourself what you can do in order to level that up.

Melyssa Barrett: Nice. Wow, that’s awesome. Because I don’t think people actually break it down that way. You know what I mean? You start to go well, I feel a certain way. But I’m not sure that people put it into those pillars of, well, maybe that’s more emotional versus spiritual or mental. And this being Mental Awareness Month, over here anyway, it’s just paying attention to those four elements I think is significant. I mean, really significant.

Marika Messager:

Yeah. Because also it gives you an understanding, it gives you a roadmap of where you stand. You start to understand maybe if your rate on your spiritual body is one … and you’ll be depressed and you’re lacking drive and passion, and you’re starting to question why you have to go to work every day, there is something there around okay, am I aligned? Are my values aligned with that of my company? Am I able to feel some form of meaning in my job? You know basically the roadmap towards transformation.

Melyssa Barrett: Yes. I love the fact that even when you talk about emotional intelligence … because I think people do at least start to recognize that emotional intelligence is a component of leadership and the better you are at it, the better your leadership can be. But are there specific things that people can embrace when they’re thinking about change, when they are trying to grow their organization or transform it in some way? Because you’ve given us how many nuggets today?

Marika Messager: You mean in terms of emotional intelligence for themselves or for the team or for everything?

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, everything. I mean, because I think it’s hard to transform other people’s emotional intelligence. I mean, as a manager a lot of times it’s like, eh, they’re not going to make it because they don’t have it. But I’m not sure that managers necessarily go okay, I’m going to help you improve your emotional intelligence. Do you know what I mean?

Marika Messager: Yeah. Yeah. So first I want to say, business is about people, right? If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.

Melyssa Barrett: I love it.

Marika Messager: It’s quite simple, right? So emotional intelligence gives you the ability, as you understand yourself and connect with your own emotions, to actually understand other people’s emotion as well. This is a skill that can be learned. Some people are more natural at it than others. Some people will never be able to develop their emotional intelligence. They’re on the spectrum of narcissism. They don’t have access to that, right? But how do you level up your emotional intelligence? First I would say as an individual you kind of have to know if you are more of an empath or more of a non-empath. Because the work is going to be different depending on where you are. But it starts with actually giving yourself permission to stay connected with an emotion. You might realize that you’re never connected with any emotion and that happens a lot. A lot of people are cut, they live in their head, right? So it’s just this awareness, how am I feeling? Or name at the end of each day one emotion that you have felt throughout the day, and start to sit with them. It’s about learning to sit with our emotions because they will pass.

If we try to numb them, they will stay and they will start to create this big emotional backpack of repressed emotions, that is going to completely screw up with our inner emotional truth. We don’t want that, so we really want emotions to felt to completion as they come. That requires some practices, some tools, some skills first to understand that, what is emotional intelligence? But also to practice feeling. And then as you feel the feeling to completion, you learn something. There is always a lesson from that feeling that is going to ask you to either do something, write something, say something, so that you actually are listening to the emotion and acting upon it. It’s very important not to react but respond. So when we’re triggered, it’s very important to take the time to come back to a place of emotional neutrality before we do anything, right? Because if we don’t, we will probably have said or written something that is a bit too intense emotionally. We were not fully centered. That’s at the individual level and then at the organizational level, well, it starts at the individual level. If all individuals start to work on their own emotional intelligence, then it has an amplification impact. But as a manager, how do you support someone to level up their emotional intelligence? Well, first you need to be emotionally intelligent yourself, right? That’s a non-negotiable.

But you do that by role modeling truth, role modeling transparency, honesty, vulnerability, real conversations so there is no hiding. There is, I take responsibility for my mistakes. I take responsibility for what is mine to own. You really show that you are present in your full authenticity and that gives others permission to do the same. If I know that I can express something and I’m going to be received, then I will. So we have to create that space as leaders where people feel safe to trust themselves, and voice their needs and their wants and their desires and their boundaries, and all of that. So it starts there as a leader and then I guess you can create some practices for your team that you can do all together as well, that is going to support level up their emotional intelligence.

Melyssa Barrett: I love it. Well, and it’s so interesting that you go through that because the entire time you were talking, I kept coming back to diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s very much a similar path, that level of consciousness. Utilizing that perspective on diversity, equity and inclusion, it permeates every part of you. So as you go deep into your own consciousness … I know a lot of people have realized over the last few years how limited they are when it comes to thinking about inclusion or diversity itself. Even if they look around at maybe some of their own friends … I used to get a lot of calls when George Floyd got murdered. It was like, people would call and be like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t really have a network of African Americans in my life.” It was like this level of consciousness where they didn’t know that we had a completely different learned experience, which in some ways was exhausting and surprising I guess to some degree. But it was a time that at least gave people an opportunity to be conscious.

Marika Messager: Yeah, definitely. You know what? Again, consciousness is about seeing the truth and that moment really was an opportunity to see the system in a way that we hadn’t seen it before. But even me, I mean, for a week I didn’t know what to say. It was like, oh my God, I can’t say anything about this, because I don’t know what it means to walk in the street and be scared that the police is going to kill me. I’ve never felt this way. I didn’t even know that it was there. So if I really want to understand that collective wound, I need to feel it. I need to really go, and what does it mean? I know as a woman what it feels like not to feel safe when you go back home at 2:00 AM in the morning and men don’t know that. So I can make some parallels and be like okay, if I’m a man and I’m trying to understand what it means to be a woman, what do I need to do? So I did the same with regards to the people of color and my understanding that there was a threat that I was not suffering from. And that is really about curiosity by just educating ourselves without judgment, just for the sake of understanding. And that also creates compassion and more collaboration in together finding a solution.

So those moments in the world we live in, it was a tragic incident but it was really a big awakening as well. Because people were forced to see things that they hadn’t looked at before and this is awakening. This is how you level up your consciousness, by looking at things that you didn’t look at before. And that gives you a new understanding and your vision a higher perspective, and this is consciousness.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. I love it. It’s funny because I was talking to a filmmaker and it’s one of the reasons film is so important, stories, written words, all of those things, because you are able to really dive into different perspectives. So before … I know we’re getting short on time. I love talking to people because it’s amazing. I feel like I’ve had my own therapy lesson today. But I do want to make sure that people know about you and what you’re doing all across your efforts. Because I know you have different programs when you’re talking about conscious leadership and the things that you’re bringing into the world. I do want to give you at least some time to just talk about where they can find you, what some of your programs look like. I know you’ve talked about the retreat.

Marika Messager: The Conscious Library. Yeah.

Melyssa Barrett: Conscious Library. But I know you also have an academy and other things as well, and consulting and all of those things.

Marika Messager: Yeah. Well, first you can email us through the website, so and you’ll find the email there. Or you can email me at You can find me on LinkedIn at Marika Messager. I’m at Instagram at Marika Messager as well. And it’s a bit different content. The Instagram one is probably more about the vision, and LinkedIn is a bit more about the implication and the embodiment and the incarnation of the vision. Then the programs that we offer, right now I am really focused on the Conscious Library because I want to reach organization and all employees. So if you want to have a conversation, because we are really soft launching, I’m very happy to. We are looking at partnerships and collaborations as well. So that would be a product to actually support all employees be coached and become conscious. So I’m very happy to have some conversations about that. And then the other programs that we have, we have Align, which is an eight-week program for people in transition, life and professional. So either you are in a place at work or at home where you know need to change, but you are not doing it or you are in between … or you have just started a new business venture, for instance, this is the program that’s going to help you be clear about the transition.

And make it happen from a place of emotional clarity and presence and have the steps so that you execute it perfectly. So that’s Align. Then we have Arise, which is our 21-day meditation program that is really focused on transformation with clarity, presence and creation. We have Aspire, which is a program for young leaders, which is a fantastic program. It’s six week online so it really suits their way of learning. It’s all videos. But this is for, let’s say 15 to 27 is the age bracket that we’ve done it with. It’s beautiful because young leaders have so much less baggage than older leaders, and they are much more open to changing their belief systems. Actually they are more conscious as well already, but they really receive the teachings and they implement the change and you see beautiful transformations. And also I know that they are equipped with tools for life. Like how to navigate difficult conversations, how to come back to emotional neutrality. All these tools are super important and it’s very exciting to see them being so eager to do the program and implementing and all of that. So those are three programs. Then we have the Academy for Conscious Leaders, which is a three-year program that really takes you from unconscious leader to conscious leader. So that’s a deeper program.

It’s a bit like a human being MBA, human being-ness and leadership MBA. This one is a beautiful program also because we build a community of conscious leaders. It’s beautiful to see some collaborations or some support between our clients. And then we have the Awaken retreat in Kenya that I’ve talked about already. But yeah, this is an amazing experience. It’s really an experience that I have built based on this understanding of the four bodies; physical, mentally, emotional and spiritual. Throughout the retreat not only you are with amazing people, but you also are in a beautiful setting in nature, by the sea, with a mangrove, eating amazing food, doing yoga, meditation every day. But you’re also evolving. So we have workshops, we have transformative experiences. Yeah, that’s kind of-

Melyssa Barrett: Nice.

Marika Messager: … an amazing thing to do.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. You are doing a lot but it’s so impactful. I love that full alignment of self and really understanding your authentic self. Because I just think there needs to be so much more work done there with people. Especially, I think a lot of times we don’t think that maybe that’s what we should be doing when we think about work or working at a company. But it becomes so important and the business really gets the benefit of it.

Marika Messager: Oh, yeah. I mean, that I’ve seen times and times again. It’s actually a gain of time to train yourself with this technology because you’re more efficient, you’re more creative, you’re more assertive. Everything is just easier.

Melyssa Barrett: I love it. I love it. Well, thank you so much for being here. I feel like we could have more and more conversations, for sure. Anything else you want to tell us before I let you go? Because there’s just so much, I don’t even know where to start anymore.

Marika Messager: I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, I had a great time. I can talk forever so I don’t know. No. What I could say is, yeah, we need conscious leaders and we need consciousness throughout every level of society and organization because it’s a solution.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, definitely. Well, and it’s almost like the base, the foundation of everything. I mean, it’s like people are walking around like zombies, right? I mean, they don’t even know what they don’t know. But getting into their own level of consciousness is just so empowering. So I just want to thank you for all you’re doing. I just love celebrating people that are doing wonderful things in the world, so thank you for joining me. We wish you-

Marika Messager: Thank you, Melyssa.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, we wish you the best.

Marika Messager: Thank you.

Melyssa Barrett: I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Conscious Library.

Marika Messager: Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you so much.

Melyssa Barrett: All right, take care. Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.