Do you know Briana? She is a nature enthusiast, self-declared “Super Dope Soul”, and Founder of Vacation of the Mind who lives in Florida and other warm places. As a conscious transformational specialist, she has developed an integrative methodology to align the potential of the mind with nature’s abundant healing properties … and helps others with a specialty in helping entrepreneurial women love the life they create. Briana and I connected immediately in a cold plunge pool … and then, within very few minutes (in the hot pool), realized why … so much in common in our passion for supporting entrepreneurs with meaningful, mindful marketing while helping them support them. Our conversations have been animated and exciting and I hope that you enjoy all that she has shared with us in this interview.
If you’d like to meet Briana and be in community with her and other good humans, join us in The Wellness Intelligence Collective. Find all of our interviews, including this one, and so much more Wellness Intelligence.
What exactly does “oneness through wellness” mean to you?
We are one with everything that exists. When we are out of alignment or not feeling well in the body due to sickness, that connection to oneness is reduced. Oneness through wellness to me means we feed that connection – the connection to ourselves by going within, by practicing self-care rituals daily. The connection to nature and creation by syncing with the cyclical rhythm and flow of life. Strengthening the connection to humanity, creating community with like-minded individuals to share in love and support.
Can you really be mindful with marketing in this day and age?
YES! I think now more than ever before it’s important to be mindful with marketing initiatives. Every time I turn on Facebook, I see Ads from people that are “following the formula” for direct sales, buy my product now, and “here’s why I’m great model” and for some it is working; heck I’ve even fallen for it several times. However, the companies that truly stand are the ones who care and have a mission they are passionate about.
As we continue waking up to these formulas, our brain is learning to tune them out, so how can you create lasting results not just a one-time dopamine hit from your marketing?
Focus on the longevity, and community that is being built rather than the one-time sale where a client has buyer’s remorse after they’ve sad yes. Brands that build a loyal following and community are more successful.
The short-term sale certainly puts money in your pocket today, however it doesn’t create long-term retention.
I believe the push sales strategies aren’t going to work in the coming years, as more and more consumers are choosing to support businesses that stand for a cause while tuning out the noise.
Client retention is created from caring about the customer, what is important to them and having quality products/services. Mindful marketing is about attracting your ideal clients/customers rather than chasing them. Mindful Marketing sets you apart from the noise, creating a brand that people can get passionate about. A brand they want to share with their friends and family, now you’ve turned your clients/customers into your sales force.
Are you able to take care of a clients’ bottom line while caring about their wellness and the worlds’ wellness?
Yes, and I believe they go hand in hand. Let’s point out the elephant in the room here – without our health, the bottom line doesn’t really matter. If all we are working for is the bottom line, then what is the point of life on this planet?! We are here to enjoy connection with one another and live a fulfilled life. I see so many people work so much that they miss years with their family, their kids, their friends and one day they wake up wishing they could get that time back. All the while not having fun along the way.
It is possible to have both productivity and presence. We can be super successful working in a career that lights our soul on fire, while also enjoying the fruits of our labor and being healthy. It is possible – I believe we all have the ability to thrive in all areas of our life with a great business/career, healthy mental state, healthy body, all while making a positive impact on the world.
Do you believe Meditation is for everyone?
Absolutely! There are so many different styles of meditation that I personally believe everyone can find one that suits their lifestyle and personality. Meditation is a great way to reboot the mind/body connection for optimal function. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in stillness (although that does have amazing benefits for the mind and the body), meditation could also be walking through nature, drinking water consciously, observing thoughts, and a lot of other styles to experiment with.
Meditation is about tuning into yourself, connecting at a deeper level to all that is. As we slow down, we gain clarity, we open the ability to allow flow into our lives. Flow is where synchronicities come to us, we don’t have to overthink decisions, we feel and know what is for us and what isn’t.
I love when clients say “I can’t quiet my mind” – I say that’s great, because you don’t have to, and also no one can unless you train it to quiet. (Insert big smile).
How did you learn to meditate?
Oh, my goodness, such a journey for me. Four years into my first business I had a total body breakdown due to stress and burnout. I was bedridden for three months and saw nine specialists in less than a year. This sent me on an exploration of how to have success in my career, while also thriving with my health.
I found meditation on this journey of healing, but like many I had no clue how to do it. Quiet my mind… yeah ok! I sit down to meditate and that’s when ALL the thoughts come flooding in. ha ha!
Like many people, I went to YouTube to try and learn, but there were so many choices I didn’t know where to begin and I was very insecure about doing it “wrong’. But I just kept trying. Eventually I met a woman who invited me to her all-day meditation training in Colorado Springs and I jumped on it. I became certified to teach that day, however I found areas of improvement in the course (spoken like a true entrepreneur) and began researching the heck out of meditation. The science, the history, different variations and practices, the benefits.
I made it a consistent practice in my life, at one point I meditated for 4-5 hours a day. The more I practiced the more I fell in love with the results, so I started teaching others various techniques I had learned. Also, through sitting in stillness I was shown techniques that work for the busy mind.
Three years in, I wrote a meditation course where I teach others who want to become an instructor. It’s definitely a practice, well for me it’s a lifestyle.
Has your business always been able to be mobile?
I’ve been living the digital nomad lifestyle before it was “cool”. I love it and couldn’t see living any other way – I’m not an office person. I tried that for 3 years with my team and was unhappy. For me, having a mobile office aids my creativity and helps me to not feel bored with life. When I feel bored, I can’t be creative, and if I stop being in creative flow my life would dry up.
I get paid to problem solve with my clients. By having a mobile office, I am able to utilize my life experiences to come up with out of the box ideas for my clients, to think more clearly and also to use the challenges I overcome to give new perspectives to clients who feel stuck in some way. Like that time, I used crossing a crocodile infested river at night in Costa Rica as mental fitness training, to help a client shift their inner dialogue and perspective on a challenge they were telling themselves they couldn’t get through.
What makes you stay in one place?
Ha! One place what’s that? Just kidding, I do live life in forward motion though. However, when I decide on a new place to call home for a bit – there are three things I go by to make the decision:
1/ How is the energy I feel from the environment there – some places cause me to feel lethargic and tired. Other places have a chaotic energy that requires me to “work hard” at staying out of overwhelm and in balance – mentally, physically emotionally and spiritually. I don’t stay in those places long.
2/ What is my access to nature? I’m a nature lover and big outdoor enthusiast, so it’s important for me to be able to go into nature to recharge, ground, and connect to spirit.
3/ I listen to my intuition and ask spirit to guide me. Is this a full body, yes? I feel my mission in life is to be on call for the universe, where does it need my light – that’s where I go. It’s taken me years of learning to go within to feel, rather than overthink decisions. I personally believe my intuition is never wrong, if I get quiet enough to really listen, my inner compass will guide me every step of the way.
Why do you like butterflies?
I have loved butterflies since childhood. When I was young, like 7 or 8, I used to catch caterpillars in a jar and provide them a safe place to spin their chrysalis before emerging as a beautiful butterfly. I was always drawn to this process of transformation. Little did I know back then when they went within, they were going through a massive breakdown to get to their breakthrough.
Fast forward to today, I believe we are all butterflies. Some of us in different phases of our process. With the right environment (our chrysalis) we can safely break down habits, belief systems, subconscious thought patterns, behaviors that no longer serve us in our life today, to break free of our chrysalis and emerge as the butterfly we were always destined to be.
Often, we too go through a breakdown phase to get to our breakthrough, and it’s ok. From personal struggle comes growth, transformation, and evolution.
I also believe this metamorphosis process can be repeated several times in our lifetime, and we can reinvent ourselves as often as we choose. I have a saying – you are only who you are until this moment. From this moment forward you can be anything you want to be. So be a beautiful butterfly!
Cold Plunge or Hot Tub?
My friends would laugh at this answer. 3+ years ago I would have only said hot tub, in fact I wouldn’t even get into water that wasn’t scalding hot. LOL
However, today, my answer is cold plunge all the way!
I absolutely LOVE cold plunging and do it as often as I can, whether that is at a spa, the ocean, a waterfall, or any other opportunity.
Cold plunging has some really incredible benefits to the body, and also, I call it my mental fitness training. So, I practice extending my “mind over matter” thought process each time I cold plunge to see how long my mind can tell my body it’s fine under the extreme temperature, thus creating new neural pathways that strengthen my ability to handle challenges in my daily life.
When you get nervous are you more apt to laugh or cry?
Laugh. Oh goodness.. This one has put me into some interesting situations of having to explain myself in my life. I didn’t discover this nervous tick until a little later in life, although I’ve always laughed as a way to ease my nervousness.
That time I wrecked my parents’ car and laughed… well let’s just say they didn’t find it so funny.
Now when I live with someone new or bring on new friends, I give them a warning that if we ever get into an unpredicted situation that causes me to be nervous, chances are I’m going to laugh, but to please have patience with me because I’m not laughing because I find it funny. – well at least most of the time. He he
Can anyone be an entrepreneur? Is there a quality we have to have innately?
I have pondered this question so many times… and to be honest I really don’t know. I would like to think that anyone could be an entrepreneur, but I have heard so many people say they need the structure of an office, or to collect a paycheck for stability that it makes me wonder if some of us are just wired to thrive on risk taking and living life outside of what many call normal.
Many of my friends can’t understand how I live the life I have created, and candidly I can’t understand how they live the life they’ve created – with so many working to collect a paycheck and not doing what lights their soul on fire.
And also, as a geek who loves to study neuroplasticity and neuroscience, I know it is possible for our brain to rewire – so in theory that would make it possible for everyone to be an entrepreneur if they truly wanted to. Right?
Ahh… such an internal struggle on this one.
Ocean or Jungle?
‘Ocean Medicine’ all the way! (a song I wrote in Tulum that will be released this year). I love the jungle too and have mad respect for it, but I’m all about that ‘ocean medicine’. Every time I am near the ocean or take a swim in the ocean waves, I feel rejuvenated, revitalized, and energized. There’s a calming effect the ocean provides me that I can’t find around any other type of nature.
I truly feel ocean is our medicine, the waves so relaxing to our mind and body, the water providing an opportunity to rinse off stress and worry and let go of our fears to be recycled back to nature. Ah I get excited just thinking about the ocean! BRB let me go for a swim… =)
Do we all have the ability to transform? Do we need to?
I do believe we all have the ability to transform and evolve. I believe we have a choice to grow or not.
We are our programming, and most of that programming was learned between the ages of 0-7 from family, school, and the community – so the thought patterns, belief systems, emotional reactions, and behaviors we run on today actually come from programming we received as a child. But we have the opportunity to choose whether we want to continue running on that programming for the rest of our lives, or we can choose to update it any time we want.
This is what transformation means to me – updating our software by learning from our experiences, growing from life’s challenges, and continually evolving to live a happy, fulfilled life.
What did you learn in elementary school that serves you now?
Wow, what a great question! To keep shining!! As bright as you can. No matter what others think of you, don’t dim your light for anyone or anything. We are all unique in our own way, some people don’t know how to handle your light and that’s ok, above all choose to be kind.
Why do you love music?
Music has always been a part of my life in a big way. I find solace in music. It’s fascinating to me how we can manage our mood and control how we feel just by turning on a song. If we are having a rough day and need to feel lighter, turn on some high vibe music and within minutes the whole day has shifted. Need a good cry, turn on a tearjerker and let those tears flow!
As a singer/songwriter I have a respect for artists and the compilation it takes to produce music that sounds pleasing to the ear. I also love that what is pleasing to my ear may get on your nerves and vice versa. Music is such a personal choice, yet also brings us together, even when we have other differences that we feel separate us.
I personally believe every genre of music has at least one good song.
Don’t ask me what my favorite song is because that’s nearly impossible to answer. LOL
What does Wellness Intelligence mean to you?
Wellness Intelligence for me, means having a strong mind/body connection where we are present with or thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We are in tune with ourselves and how we show up in the world, being present in the moment and attuned to our needs – what does our body need, what does our mental health need and how are we interacting with the world around us.