Posts in Epicurianism
"If you Don't Grow Yourself, you Won't Grow your Business" - Mindset & Money Talk with Chris Lavish
All photos by  Cassell Inc.

All photos by Cassell Inc.

Never under the influence, always influencing
— Chris Lavish

When I heard of Chris Lavish for the first time, Global Digital Director at Fashion Week Online, I thought “Not only does this guy unapologetically say what he thinks, but he has a style that’s impossible to copy. And he escaped the 9/5, And he’s woke. And vegan. And spiritual…”

#Tribe!

I wanted to investigate more about the Lavish signature and learn:

-> What led the self-called “intergalactic tattoo module” to stop caring about people’s opinions to become his true self,

-> How he unlocked the money energy and the mindset that allowed him to access the traveling & influencer lifestyle that "many dream of, but few work for”.

The conversation turned into a podcast with one of the most genuine and fun persons I’ve met, filled with inspiration and motivational quotes.

Find your Way in the Episode:

0:30 - How making money affects your biochemistry

3:00 - Why you have to know how much you’re worth

6:30 - Morning & evening routine

9:45 - Chris’ fashion journey

11:30 - Pleasing yourself comes first

13:00 - Truth in the media & why how much you care will dictate how far you go in life

17:00 - How the universe rewards you for living freely

26:00 - Can you work AND be happy? + Why you should avoid the 9/5

“The way you start your day is the way you start your life”

Chris Lavish’ tips to conquer the day:

  1. Wake up as early as possible

  2. Stretch, foam-roll

  3. Exercise to get the body active

  4. Drink water

  5. Take a really cold water

  6. Kill the day!

Some delicious quotes from Chris Lavish, for when you need a little extra motivation to crush your goals:

MONEY

“Which language am I fluent in? Money talk”

“Money is the only way you’ll ever free yourself from both yourself and what other people think”

SELF-LOVE

“If you want to be everybody else, you’ll never be yourself”

“Caring will dictate how far you go in life. If you care too much, you’ll kill yourself out of money.”

“It’s impossible to make someone happy - You’re better off trying to please yourself, at least you know you better.”

“You can’t please everyone, but as long as you please yourself you’ll be alright.”

VALUING YOURSELF

“You have to know how much you’re worth, or else you’ll always get underpaid”

“I’m close to priceless, or to some people im just completely free.”

MENTAL FREEDOM

“I escaped that mental prison a long time ago and never looked back”.

“Mental freedom is the first step and then you just pick your path”.

HUSTLE

“The way you start your morning is the way you start your life”

“You expect too much and work too little”.

“I’ve never met anybody who works 24/7 and never got somewhere”

“If you don’t grow yourself, you won’t grow your business”

Find more of Chris on Instagram:

Chris Lavish Instagram

Chris Lavish Instagram

"Love is in the Air" - Interviewing a Hot Air Balloon Pilot in Cappadocia
Helene Cappadocia
 

During my last trip to Turkey, I headed to Cappadocia with a girlfriend to watch one of the most beautiful sceneries that exist… To witness hundreds of hot air ballon rides at sunrise. After this magical experience, she introduced me to her air balloon pilot, Erdal.

“I love my job. I’ve done this for 5 years and havent complained a single time. Not a single time have I though: “I don’t want to go to work today”. I dreamed to fly and the fact that I get to experience that on a daily basis makes me speechless. Also, bringing smiles onto people’s faces gives me energy… Most ladies even cry of happiness.

I’ve understood that it doesn’t matter how much you charge, whatever you do, put your heart into it. Working a low-paid job that you love means more than having a high-salary and being stressed because you hate what you do.

Chiefs can cook the same meal with the same ingredients, but the flavor will be different depending on wether they cook with love.

Cappadocia balloon story

I get it. Money should be the number one priority for a business. However, the way I handle mine is as follows: first safety, then making people happy, then money (if I deserve it). I was a florist before and had the same feeling - I went the extra mile to create this wow sensation in people’s eyes. That gave me the feeling I was successful and should keep going.

Now as a pilot, yes, people pay me for my service, but in return they get something that they cannot touch, taste or smell. Yes, it’s partly visual. Still, they FEEL it in their bones. It’s an experience.

They will enjoy the scenery either way, for sure. I want to enhance that through connection. Tourists come from their country for something specific, they have a dream, they want to be happy, escape their daily stress and pressure, relax…

So I love to create emotional switches, to make them forget about their problems and let go of their fears. Fear of height is psychological. They are nervous at the beginning, so I say that the name of the balloon is “Titanic” and start playing the music, they laugh and we drop the pressure instantly.

Then once up in the air, I ask them: “Are you happy? If not, I can open the floors for you!” Those little changes of emotions make them more present in the moment. I am not giving them a fancy car or a house, I am sharing an experience that creates genuine happiness.”

hot air ballon turkey

As I place my hand close to my face, Erdal notices the butterfly tattoos on my wrist. “Interesting, a butterfly. This symbolizes that life is short. I remind myself of this constantly. My silver lining happened in 2005, after a break-up because I was selfish.

It taught me to always try to be nice and express my love with others. Everybody knows how much they love but never how much they are loved.

Therefore, I’ve designed the enveloppes of my air balloons with smiley faces with heart-eyes and I’m currently designing one that says on it “Love is in the air”.”

Love is not a person. It just is there. Inside of you. It’s in the air all around us. And anyone can feel it too, once they switch their perspective."

air balloon story
Getting Turned Down by Customs & Putting my American Dream Time on Hold
Angel or criminal?

Angel or criminal?

So… This happened.

I guess I’m a criminal now.

I tend to say that bad choices make good stories, but sometimes they make bad stories too.

I should have sensed it, when I dreamed of sleeping in jail 3 days ago.

When I didn’t receive my flight ticket.

When my cameras and computer got stolen.

When my card didn’t process the payment for the LA conference six times. Signs?

So What happened?

Well. During my last trip to LA, I miscalculated the length of my visa and overstayed of one day.

This means that I’m now forever forbidden to travel to America on a waiver.

I can still apply for a visa (approval not guaranteed, at the embassy’s discretion) but I’ll be pulled to a room for hours each time, interviewed and at risk of still being politely declined every single time I’d enter the country.

That’s what happened last night.

I got pulled aside at LAX airport.

Questioned.

Searched.

I had to give my phone’s password at customs and taken to a room for an in-depth interview after 10 hours wait of observing a parade of cops exiting the office with a fake cut throat or a bee costume on, wishing us a Happy Halloween.

I got threatened to never be allowed on the territory again should I lie (“We know what you did” with the desk lamp dazzling at me kinda conversation).

Eventually, I had to admit receiving $30 in exchanged for organizing an event, and some drug intake… Whoops. Which will be on my file forever.

In any case, there’s always a bright side of things… I talk about breaking points all day long and how pain turns into beauty.

While seated in front of the TV with shows on, and a selection of sugary snacks (which, for some, might sound like the perfect definition of a Saturday night), I had the chance to put into practice one of my recent learnings from my meditation retreat, and practice gratitude. 

“I’m safe, I’m not going to jail, I didn’t have to get naked and ass-searched like I thought I would when the cop put her gloves on”, said I to myself. 

Replaying in my head what I had learnt from the show Making a Murderer.

I also practiced “non-attachment” with my custody-girlfriend, between sequences where we’d simply break down, due to our lack of food, 2 sleepless nights and inability to make any digital contact with the outer world.

Concretely, “all” I lost was time, attendance to an insane conference, time spent with the friends I loved and huge networking opportunities. Life pleasures that I can come to experience in the future with the help of a good lawyer.

It still feels like shit when such things happen, but I was able to step back up on my feet, laugh about it, and here I am, reassessing my action steps on my flight back to France.

No point looking back.

I still ADORE LA and I WILL come back sooner than you know, but I gotta accept that I’m not welcome there. I’m seen as a potential threat to security so I might as well lay low for a hot second, especially now during the elections.

The highlight of that adventure was definitely me being escorted by two policemen through the secured hallways, slaloming between the planes taking off in an armored truck and walking up to my plane in front of everyone staring at me like either a badass or a weirdo (which was pretty hilarious as I was walking around with no shoelace, pant-lace & a “LOVE” pullover).

At least I got a horror story to tell, on that Halloween night.

Hope you guys had a better one :).

Seeing Life as a Game can Help You Getting Outside of Your Comfort Zone

In this episode, I've interviewed Hanine Mhannd, the creator of Goodbye Comfort Zone, a blog and app to help you see life as a game and reach your your highest potential through daily challenges and with the help of gamification techniques.

Hanine started 2017 by giving himself a new challenge for a year, such as stopping sugar, meditating, skydiving or shaking stranger’s hands, in the hope of becoming gradually more confident, efficient, healthier, etc.

In this interview, he shares his story with us on what led him to go from one extreme to another and completely transform his life into an exciting adventure, how he went from almost giving up on life to grabbing the bull by the horns and facing fear to reach higher levels, like in a game. Hanine is now a conference speaker on the topic of Comfort Zone.


Here are Hanine’s top 3 tips to stop procrastinating and stepping outside of our comfort zone:

  • Add external stimuli to measure your advancement, for example by announcing your goals publicly

  • Add hazard and excitement, for instance draw your daily activities from a hat

  • Surround yourself with mentors, mentees and people at the same level as you and with the same objective

"Follow Your Heart & Enjoy Your Life" - Talking Money with a Care-Free Balinese
Estimated reading time: 2'

Estimated reading time: 2'

 

I met Miloone on my last day on Gili Trawangan island, Indonesia, he was the friend of the hotel manager.

I had not been able to take out cash from multiple ATMs the previous night and it was time to check-out.

Like most places out there, they don’t accept debit cards, and I was slightly panicking at the idea of being stranded on an island with no money, and the embarrassment of not being able to pay for my room. Every backpacker’s nightmare.

Miloone offered to walk me to the bank. He was walking barefoot on the concrete, serene.

On the way, he insisted on getting me water.

 

“Don’t stress, just relax. Think about the moment. You are in beautiful Bali, look around you!

Personally, I am an introvert, and I like to observe what is happening around me and take it all in. 

I’ve lived in New Zealand and in Lombok (i.e. the closest big city in Indonesia). 

Over there, people worried about money too much.

It was all about competition, and making money, but they didn’t enjoy the moment, they barely spent them with their family, or in nature. 

It was too intense for me.

I moved back because I was looking for freedom. I found my freedom here.”

 

I asked how he defined freedom.

 

“It’s a peace of mind. I can be free to be me. Without caring about having people judge me. Without caring about what my salary is.

Without feeling the pressure of being better than the person next to me.

Here, we do not worry about money as much. At least, less people do.

If a friend or family member needs help, we’ll support him. 

We are all in this together, different but the same.

And if I ever feel the need to unwind, I can walk to the beach and look at the sea. It’s the most relaxing thing I know.

So for your situation, don’t be scared, let life happen, don’t let the ego take control, follow your heart instead. You’ll figure it out, you always do”.

 

I knew he was right, but I also was starting to think of the different ways to solve my situation and could not really focus on anything else.

 

We arrived at the bank. The bills came out.

 

I offered to pay back the water.

“Next time. You’ll be back. You know… Bali is dangerous”, he said.

“Why?”

“Because when people leave, they remember. He pocks at his temple.

They remember our mindset”.

If it Doesn't Feel Right, it Probably Isn't
Estimated reading time: 3'

Estimated reading time: 3'

 

We've all seen a lot of publications around sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and general disrespect of women lately, with the #Metoo campaign.

I come a little bit late in the game, but I am tired of witnessing red flags and seeing men behaving like predators. I am tired of having to stand up for myself as a woman, having to set limits because they've been crossed, and having to comfort my girlfriends for the same reasons.

So I've decided to share a few examples of red flags (true stories), from my experience, from soft to risky:

Situation 1: you are on a date. Your date spends more time looking at your breast and your bottom when you turn around, rather than listening to your conversation. And when a bunch of girls passes you, he literally turns his head back. No surprise there. Oh and in case you wondered, it was not a Tinder date. And I did not wear revealing clothes.

Situation 2: you walk up the street with heavy bags from the supermarket. A car stops. The dude asks you to come closer so he can talk to you... You naively think he wants to offer his help. Instead, he tells you (warning - raw language): "Don't move, I will come back to break your legs and lick your pussy until you scream". You're so confused you forget to note down his license plate.

Situation 3: you are interviewing for a job. The HR advises you to not look under the table. 

Situation 4: you apply for a model gig and meet the 70 y.old manager in a cafe. He asks for your cup size for the bikini you are going to wear, and before you have time to answer, he swiftly grabs your breasts to "measure himself". 

Situation 5: you book a massage online. Turns out the massage takes place in a private home, and the therapist spends an awkwardly long amount of time massaging your upper thighs. 

Situation 6: you are in a cab in Mexico, middle of the jungle, no network and no soul in the streets. The car driver puts his hand on your leg. You push him away and pray.

I have experienced a million small situations like that. But despite the red flags, I kept going for it. I saw this guy again, I kept seeking those jobs, I stayed in the car.

And worse, most times, I did not speak up.

Why? Low self-esteem? Probably. Fear of making the other person uncomfortable? Definitely. 

At the moment, I knew exactly what to do, I knew exactly what to say. I was screaming inside of my head.

But I got paralyzed. Shame was taking over. I thought I had misunderstood. It thought it was not real.

Earlier in January, three of my friends confessed having been raped.

But that's not what shocked me the most.

What shocked me the most was that they KEPT HANGING OUT with the predators. They did not see themselves as victims.

They blamed themselves for not having known better.

For having accepted their drinks.

For having trusted them to take care of them and respect them as they were saying no. As they were crying. After they blacked out.

And the only thing they wanted to do in the morning was to hide away and pretend it did not happen.

A pure walk of shame. 

So I am begging you ladies to go ahead and speak up. And if you can't do it on the spot, it is never too late. Trust your instincts. Remove toxic people from your life. Respect yourself and do not let anyone enter your intimacy without your consent.

There are too many stories of disrespect towards women, abuse, and sexual harassment.

My trick is to count the red flags:

- One red flag: be on your toes. Speak up.

- Two red flags: just walk away.

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Which red flags do you look for?