Business

5 Reasons Why I’m a Student of Life, and You Should Be Too

One of the things I noticed in myself, and then in the people around me is that as we grow older we tend to become teachers instead of learners. What I mean by that is that our minds start to sound off whenever we’re about to learn something.

Our mind butts in and says, “I know this already!” It’s as though we are trying to save time and cut to the chase, but lately as I’ve been practicing I noticed that you really miss things if you’re not open to them.

Luckily, I have a few life experiences that remind me on a consistent basis why it’s important to have a beginner’s mind. Here are some of them…

1. Martial Arts

When practicing Tae Kwon Do, I know that no matter how many times you’ve practiced the basic punch, you have to focus and make it your best one… as if you were learning it for the first time all over again.

2. Spiritual Practice

I consider myself to be a nature lover, with a keen mind for new ideas. So when someone from a different cultural or religious background shows up in my life, I like to learn about their beliefs without judgment.

3. Raw Food

When I first heard about raw food, it sounded a little crazy. But it wasn’t until I suspended my disbelief that I was able to really give it a try, and once I gave it a go there was no turning back.

4. Computers

Some of you know that I’ve got a degree in Software Engineering, and yet every time I catch myself saying “oh yeah, I know that already” when it comes to programming or new software, I need to stop. Once I remind myself that I learned the best when I was a kid soaking up computer lingo, I can learn much faster.

5. Relationships

Ahhh relationships! Honestly, I don’t know anyone who knows everything they will ever need to know to have “perfect” relationships. That why I am constantly learning from and with my boyfriend Robin, so we’re forever evolving together.

The Dojo

What better way to be a student of life?

That’s exactly why when my friends Jonathan Mead and Charlie Gilkey came out with their productivity un-system, I told my mind to be quiet for a moment. Even though I’ve studied and learned from a lot of teachers over the years, and I consider myself to be pretty productive, I knew I had to quiet my mind and pay attention to what they had to say.

Boy, am I ever glad I did! The program is called “The Dojo” and it comes with a 40 page downloadable PDF and 7 short audio recordings that you can listen in whatever order you like. The design of this thing is incredible! You can tell the amount of love and intention that went into this program, and that alone was enough for me to dive in and absorb the material.

What I found as I listened and read was that it was more than applicable for me, but also that it could really help anyone who has a goal or a project that they want to undertake but never seem to get done. I loved the martial arts theme that is weaved throughout, from the name of the program (The Dojo) to the 7 tenets, and of course the yin and yang graphics.

After reading just a few pages I already felt more at piece. I realized that there is no perfect “productivity” gadget or system out there. But that it’s all about training myself, here in The Dojo, to do the work that will have the biggest impact for me personally and for the world at large.

The quote that got me off my butt, writing this right now was this one: “The constant urge to move, change, and grow needs to be balanced with the necessity of being, stillness, and acceptance.”

It’s powerful stuff. And I don’t recommend stuff unless I think it’s useful for other people, and I’ve tried it myself. If you buy the program and give it a go, I make a percentage, but that’s not the reason why I wanted to share this with you.

Trust me when I say that I am really grateful for the work that both of these super tuned-in gentlemen put into The Dojo. They’re clearly onto something too, because they were able to put together this project amongst their busy lives, spending time with their significant others, and training for martial arts fights in Jonathan’s case.

So if you’ve got a project, business, or piece of work that you feel drawn to bring into this world – pick up a copy of The Dojo and see what you’re capable of.

Love, Nathalie

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Yay! Raw Foods Witch Featured in The Edge Magazine

I’ve got a couple of fun announcements to make…

Nathalie Lussier interview
Nathalie Lussier interview in The Edge Magazine

I’m featured in The Edge Magazine

The lovely Amy Putkonen interviewed me for the Raw Food feature interview in The Edge magazine May 2010 edition! It’s out now, and I’m just waiting for my print copy to arrive. :)

You can check out the interview here and read the great insider stories that I don’t usually blog about here. You’ll also get a feel for my approach to wellness, and how I got to be the Raw Foods Witch!

Live radio interview coming up

To celebrate the print article, Amy and I are also doing a live radio interview for the Cirkla Radio show.

You can join us and tune in live on May 12th from 7:00pm – 8:00pm Central.

Mindful Monday is moving to Facebook

Every Monday I like to reflect on what I’m grateful for to start the week off on a good foot. I’ve noticed a trend – that I’ve been getting more people participating on Facebook.

Click the like button

So join the Facebook page by clicking the “Like” button at the top of the page, and you’ll be able to participate in Mindful Monday with us! :)

Lots of love!

I’m sending you lots of love and gratitude. I’m literally humming with joy right now. :)

Love, Nathalie

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What I learned at SXSW 2010

Bear with me while I gush about my experience attending SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas this past week. This post is mostly for me, to preserve this feeling of total gratitude and expanded possibilities.

SXSW Photos
Deb Ng, Nathalie Lussier, Muhammad Saleem, Darren Rowse, Jonathan Fields – Photo by Think Maya

SXSW Gratitude Video

(Click here if you can’t see this video.)

SXSW Is All About The People

Before I went to SXSW, I knew that it was going to be all about meeting my cool online friends in person. I also thought the panels might be interesting.

Some panels were definitely great, but I want to reiterate that meeting people was by far the best part of my SXSW experience!

Here’s a quick rundown (in no particular order) and a big THANK YOU to all the amazing folks I met up with at the conference. If I didn’t get a chance to meet you, please comment and we’ll make plans for next year. :)

Commence Major Geeking Out

chris-g
Photo by Maya

Chris Garret was a total blast to hang out with (and contrary to this, he didn’t suck!). We talked about the differences between England and America where muffins and cupcakes are concerned.

We shared some laughs with Sonia Simone about getting to know people online, and I admired her pink hair in person. :)

Deb Ng and I bonded over stories of Chinese relatives-in-law. I thought I was the only one with funny Chinese related stories!

I got to meet and hang out with copywriting masters like Brian Clark, Taylor Lindstrom, and Kelly Parkinson. Their knowledge of copywriting and online business is incredible, and getting to know them personally was even more awesome.

We grabbed a green juice with Nora at The Daily Juice, and talked online business with a touch of law of attraction, and lots of raw chocolate – yum!

aliza-sherman
Photo by Maya

Hung out in the bloggers lounge and met with Muhammad Saleem, Darren Rowse, and Aliza Sherman. I had a nice chat with Jonathan Fields and love what he’s up to! The caliber of these folks still blows me away!

On my way to Austin I had a layover in New York and I sat 2 rows away from Sarah Cooley. I recognized her from Twitter and mustered up the courage to pass her a note, then we got to sit down together and have a heart to heart.

I spotted Chris Pirillo on the first day and was too shy to go over and introduce myself. But my little geekgirl heart leaped when I recognized him.

In the “How Not to Be a Douchebag at SXSW” panel I met Violet Blue (NSFW), and laughed at her jokes. Then nodded at her growing concerns as a famous blogger.

We had a great time at the SOBCon party, meeting with Liz Strauss and Terry Starbucker. There’s a joke in there about Terry being unable to find a starbucks.

sunny-ericabiz

Had lunch with Erica Douglas and her boyfriend Richard. I was totally star struck on the first day of SXSW. These people are so totally awesome in real life, it’s not even funny. :)

At Chris Guillebeau‘s meetup I met Eileen and her husband, and it was awesome to hear about her background. There’s only so much you can learn from someone through their online presence, but one thing is for sure – they are both so awesome in person!

I got to hang out with the super smart Ali Hale, who just rocked my world with her devilishly cute British accent. Now I know why I like her so much. :)

Another great person that I finally got to meet in real life is Charlie Gilkey and his wife Angela. This man is so authentic and bright, it was just awesome to get to know him. Next year, more conversation time!

maya-b

In the bloggers lounge I also met my dear friend Maya! It was a coincidence that we tweeted each other about being on the 4th floor of the ACC, and it was great to hug in real life!

Saturday night I was so stoked to meet Chris Guillebeau, who as it turns out is also even more amazing in real life. He is so generous with his time and advice, and I’m so happy we got to connect. Really looking forward to his book tour now. :)

Coincidence had it that I was able to catch Elizabeth Potts Weinstein for lunch. We chatted about business managers and our time belly dancing with pitas.

Belly Dancing at SXSW

Some of us ladies of SXSW got together to take an awesome belly dancing class! It was a new type of female bonding experience that took us all away from our iPhones and texting devices. Not to mention that it was a great work out and really fun to be dancing like this!

Speaking of dancing, I got to watch Carl Nelson in action at the New Orleans party. Definitely look him up if you want to up your dance skills!

pace-kyeli
Kyeli and Pace Smith – Freak Revolutionaries

One reason why SXSW was so incredible was thanks to these two lovely ladies: Kyeli and Pace Smith! They let me sleep on their comfy couch and hang out with their three adorable cats. They also taught me the meaning of the word barnacle, along with a few other funny words. ;)

We had some of the best conversations between midnight and 3am, and I am super duper grateful for the honor of meeting them in person and getting to hang out!

And the fun continues…

On my second night in Austin, I got to be present for the Maple Syrup inside joke that took place between Jeff Moriarty and Melle! The price of my flight was worth it just for being able to see Pace Smith laugh so hard.

johnny-b

I got to hang out with Johnny B. Truant, and hear his new droid phone make funny noises. Oh, and his business cards made the rounds and totally made him even more famous than he already was. Rock on.

Speaking of rocking, we played Rock Band until two or three in the morning one night. Most fun I’ve had playing video games since I was a teenager! I now understand why The Beatles got so popular. “It’s about charity!”

rock-band

The night before I left we held a birthday party for Cath Duncan and Kyeli! We scared the living daylights out of poor Cath by pretending we left and then jumped out screaming “Surprise!”. Happy birthday my dears!

I got to connect with Andy Hayes, whose accent is very misleading by the way. It was great getting to know him and talking business, travel, and life!

It was great meeting Tzaddi Gordon, a fellow Canadian, and talking about web design. It was so cool to meet her because I had seen her site before and really admired the designs she had!

I finally met Karl Staib of Work Happy Now, and it was great talking about business and life together. His sincerity and joy-of-life really shines through!

marty-save

I finally got to meet Martin Whitmore (the man responsible for my awesome witchy logo) in person! This guy has such a fun personality, and we took full advantage of the Bing photobooth.

You can read about his adventures wearing a kilt here too. Oh, and yes I did escape without getting eaten, or turned into a zombie of any kind. I’m a witch after all!

It was fun talking to Robert Dempsey about our businesses, and what it’s like being a multi passionate entrepreneur.

I also had the pleasure of meeting and hugging the super sweet Adam Baker. I’m really impressed with all he’s done for himself online and it was great meeting him in person!

Brunch with Colleen Wainwright revealed more awesomeness about the lovely Communicatrix. Also I learned about a new non-martial martial-art called Nei Kung. Sweet stuff!

During the Freak Revolution meetup I got to hang out with the ever lovely Lynnivere. It was great to connect with her in person and hear her raw food journey story.

That’s also where I met Chris and Cherie from Technomadia. I was pleasantly surprised to see their trek across America and I invited them to come visit me in Toronto! :)

gala-molly
Gala Darling, Nathalie Lussier, Molly Crabapple

On the first day of SXSW I was a total fangirl and asked to get my photo taken with the super sweet Gala Darling and Molly Crabapple. I love these ladies.

More Awesome People…

naomi
Naomi Dunford – Photo by Maya

I got to hang out with the ever flavorful Naomi Dunford and Megan Morris. These ladies launched some stuff during the conference and they were just rocking it! Big hugs – *muah*!

More Toronto-ish peeps I got to meet include Scott Stratton, and Melanie Baker. Yay Canadians! ;)

Kelly Kingman was a total sweetheart and pleasure to hang out with. She also let us have parties at the swankiest pad ever, and we got down to the nitty gritty of online business together!

Another New Yorker I had the coincidental pleasure of meeting is John Keefe. It was fun talking about specialists vs. generalists and I’m eager to see what he is up to!

It was also really awesome to meet Andrea Ramirez and her husband Mark. Andrea and I really connected because of our shared passion for health and online biz, woohoo!

I also met Michelle and her husband Matt. Her sense of style is definitely wicked and I loved trying to anticipate what color her hair would be the next time I met her! We talked comics, biz, and blogging, woohoo!

The same night I first hung out with Michelle and the gang, we visited the Marble Cows. We also got to hang out with Steve Spalding and Nathan. Everyone was running low on sleep, so we came up with some hilarious book titles!

Talk About a Whirlwind Experience

Last but not least it was awesome almost-meeting TheGirlPie!

I’m sorry if I missed you at SXSW, or if I met you but forgot to include you in this post. Leave a comment or tweet me and I’ll rectify that immediately. :) I blame lack of sleep and too much awesomeness for that.

So what did I learn at SXSW? That life is short and there are too many awesome people to meet. Also, that writing this post is a great way for me to not-forget everything as I move my business and blog forward!

Big hugs everyone!
Love, Nathalie

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