We enjoyed the great privilege of hosting two event together at the beginning of this year before going in on #Lockdown. During this time, I had the opportunity of sitting with my dear friend and sister on the mission of empowering women - Marcia Mcleod - and chatting about the journey she's on as a champion for healing, self-care and authentic living. If you are looking into tap into the energy of someone who's got this on lock - tuck into my interview with Marcia below...
YCM: Marcia Mcleod; how have you heard your personality described by your friends and peers? How does that compare with who you say you are?
MM: I have heard my personality often described as, non-judgmental, brave, bold, assertive, influential and a force to be reckoned with. All of that is mixed in with an extremely rational voice of reason. I have always prided myself in providing my friends and loved ones an open door where they know I am always here to listen without casting judgment. I think it’s fair to say my love of mentoring individuals was definitely born from my innate passion to assist people to feel comfortable; and to simply be themselves.
YCM: Talk to us about your life as an expat woman living in the UAE. How has your decision to move away from home to settle in another country shaped the woman you have become today?
MM: This has been my twentieth year of me living here in the UAE. When I took the decision to move out here it was not a particularly difficult one as I have always considered myself as a free spirit that is always open to adventure and opportunities. Living in the UAE has definitely played an integral role in shaping the woman I am today. It took a good bit of initial inner strength for me to rebuild a new life from scratch, newly married with a young child and virtually no immediate family support or friends, as I had left all that behind in the UK. This has certainly been a journey of great learning and discovery that I am forever grateful for. Without this fantastic opportunity I really don’t think I would be half of the woman I am today.
YCM: The Reinvented Today brand has enjoyed the great pleasure of partnering with you on a few events in the past. Talk to us about your passion for bringing women together has you help them conquer their limiting self-belief?
MM: My passion to bring woman together was birthed from my own desire to learn about who I truly am. I have always been a natural connector and over the years, it became crystal clear to me through some of my biggest challenges in addition to major successes, that getting support from my sister friends was always a crucial factor and was always the common denominator. The previous, limited self-belief I carried in terms of my capabilities and self worth really held me in a state of no action. And so knowing what I know today, I would never want to see another woman not reach her absolute true, purposeful potential because of something she wrongly told herself repeatedly. Negative self-speak could be hindering her true potential in showing up and shining her light authentically in this wonderful world we live in.
YCM: You wear multiple hats as a working woman, mother, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, life coach and mentor. What has juggling your multiple roles taught you about yourself? What have been some of the greatest lessons you have learned from working with your clients?
MM: It has indeed taught me that I am indeed superwoman! But on a serious note, I have learnt that there is absolutely nothing that is unachievable in life and that the only limits that there are, are merely the ones we set ourselves. The mind is ever so powerful and it can really literally be the making or breaking of you.
YCM: Adding to the above, you are also a reiki practitioner. Talk to our readers about what reiki is? How did you discover this practice?
MM: Reiki is basically known as energy healing, where universal energy is channeled through the hands of the practitioner to the patient, encouraging either emotional or physical healing to the patient. My first encounter with reiki was purely circumstantial. I was asked to be a guinea pig at a friend’s beauty salon here in the UAE as she was considering offering the service and was requesting my feedback on the experience. Prior to that I had never even heard of reiki.
YCM: How has being a reiki practitioner helped you on your journey to total transformation? Outline its benefits?
MM: Reiki is something that actually found me on my path of self-discovery and spirituality; as it played a major role in helping me to be able to cope with my battle with stress, anxiety and depression.
Reiki is something that is now part of my daily self-care regime, which is to keep myself fully aligned, as well as assisting me to remain in a consistent state of equilibrium. This energy healing practice promotes both harmony and balance. By creating opportunities for deep relaxation, it helps the body to release any stress and tension, dissolves energy blocks and promotes a natural balance between mind, body and spirit. It can also aid in clearing of the mind to improve focus as it promotes a feeling of being grounded and centered and can even aid in better sleep.
It is also known for boosting the body’s self-healing abilities, it is important however, to point out that as the practitioner, I have absolutely no control over where the energy flows or goes. And I make absolutely no claims to be able to heal any illness or ailment. The energy will flow to where it is required. I am merely the vessel through which the energy passes.
YCM: What elements of your childhood as a young girl of Caribbean heritage growing up in the UK, do you believe influenced the woman you have become today?
MM: Being raised by Jamaican parents in the 70’s, in the UK has most certainly influenced the woman I am today. Although British culture was very much part of my life, my Caribbean roots were very much entrenched in me, from the way I was raised generally, scolded or simply down to the food that I ate. As a first-generation black British female, many of the things my English friends I grew up with around were able to do, I certainly could not. My parents were extremely strict.
However, I believe the rich influences of both my experiences have fundamentally shaped the woman I am today.
YCM: You are the mother to three beautiful children. What advice do you have for moms raising adolescents and young adults in today’s fast evolving world?
MM: I would advise parents to be flexible in their parenting approaches. It is imperative that we grasp the importance of allowing our children the opportunity to blossom and discover who they are without always imposing on to them what we feel is right for them. Now don’t get me wrong, there certainly has to be a level of direction and guidance implemented as our children need this from us. However, in my opinion, that should not be at the expense of them fully grasping the concept of being themselves authentically and unapologetically.
It is important for children to be listened to, feel supported, and comforted. But by the same token be allowed to have some autonomy to make their own decisions and mistakes. This was very important for me. I have always understood that children are on their own journey and yes, they’re ours in the sense that we brought them into this world, however they are still very much their own people who, ultimately not only have their own lives to live and learn from but also need to be guided, not controlled. This is a very prominent lesson I try to live by each day when raising my own.
YCM: How have you overcome some of the challenges we believe every parent faces in raising children in an upwardly mobile and connected world? How do you encourage your children to be comfortable in their authentic self?
MM: I believe children should know that no matter what happens in life they will always have their parents’ support. I have worked hard to instill in mine the value of being unique and owning that, not to strive to fit in when they were born to stand out. I teach them to always be proud of who they are, even if it goes against societal, constricted norms.
YCM: Given the option to go anywhere in the world to spread your message of cultivating authentic living and empowerment – which 3 destinations does Marcia want to conquer next and why?
MM: A born and bred Londoner, the UK is a given, as it’s home and actually where my story began. Although I have been living abroad for the best part of 20 years, it is still very much a major part of who I am today. I have had the privilege of working with many individuals on their path of self-discovery and as I design and deliver more content, I would love the women in the UK to benefit from it on a more personal level.
I would love to conquer more of the African continent because knowing my history, the desire to connect with my rich ancestral cultural and heritage on a deeper level and be able to inspire and empower others would be a dream come true.
Since I have a large network of family and friends in the USA and North America, it would be an absolutely amazing opportunity to be able to go speak, inspire and support other like-minded women to be empowered to find their own true authentic voice.
Connect further with Marcia by visiting her website on www.marciamcleod.com