Spring/Summer 2021 | A conversation with Donna Marie

Donna Marie is the founder of The Leadership Yogi Academy. Donna’s expertise allows you to access your body, mind, heart intelligence and harness consistent and profound breakthroughs for life and business transformation.

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A conversation with Donna Marie

Today’s Exclusive Guest.

Who is Donna?

Donna Marie is the founder of The Leadership Yogi Academy. She helps bring an end to the overwhelming procrastination and whirlwind of your mind to unblock and unlock your full creative potential and power, so you can confidently embody your expertise, and up-level and evolve. Donna’s expertise allows you to access your body, mind heart intelligence, and harness consistent and profound breakthroughs for life and business transformation.

About the journey.

I was always creative from birth, I knew I was always a little bit eccentric, and a little bit out there. Theatre school was my perfect place to explore and express and get dirty, not afraid to have pain on me and just explore my creativity. The only thing I was ever good at at school was wearing my flair. It was my web of greatness to really see at that time. It was well because I’d release and do all that stuff. When I went to theater school, I worked with the actors, spotlighting them and painting the stage and this constant stage of creating. You learn so much about yourself, and you learn so much about people and all the behind the scenes stuff. It’s like behind the scenes of the mind, but behind the scenes of creation, and there is so much magic and mystery. I have come to think about how significant that whole journey was in my life. Now I do draw these elements so much into my work. It’s just an incredible place to explore. Acceptance is, you are free to elaborate, you can just be you and there’s no judgment and it’s a beautiful place to express and show who you are.

When I was in this school, I didn’t even realize there were issues. I didn’t really realize there was stuff going on, because I was in a sleep cycle. I knew why I loved being there. It gave me fulfillment and I felt free. I was actually quite burnt out after university. After working in that industry for many years, I realized I was actually quite closed down. That got me into the path of healing. I wanted to come out of the darkness because I was always in the darkness and having to get in my own spotlight to find my own path. So it’s just interesting how things kind of switch and change.

There was a time when I was working for a particular theatre. I was a freelancer. I was working 16 hour days, probably more than that. So I’d be up at 6:00 am setting up the stage. Some of the days I’d be there on my own, going up ladders and painting things and there was no one around. It was a pretty risky job if something ever happened. And it was lonely. It felt like an incredible place of creativity, but it was lonely. I was incredibly lonely in the work that I did. This was not what I thought it was going to be. It got to a point when I got so burnt out because I was doing these long hours. I’d be there all day, every day. I didn’t have that time to live a life because it was always working, pretty much like corporate creativity. Just being in that space of being stuck, I felt I needed to get out. I was burnt out multiple times and it was exhausting to be in a crowded thing.

I was incredibly fatigued. I started to get incredibly depressed – the second wave of depression and second wave anxiety. My confidence level was zero. I was completely the opposite of what I was. It was manifesting in so many ways. And I remember just not wanting to do anything, no energy and no soul. I channeled all that energy into the work that I was doing. Pretty much similar to the corporate world, but in a different way. I was absolutely burnt out and fatigued. I wasn’t eating or went from not eating enough to eating loads. My weight fluctuated up and down. I fell into the wrong relationships. Got into bad things.

What did you do?

I decided to look at my life, analyzed it, and decided I was ready to change. This could not get any worse. I was having a breakdown with my partner that I was with at the time. It got so bad. This was breaking away. And I felt like this needed to change. I remember realizing it was the relationship that broke me away from the industry, away from that pattern of burnout. I just needed things to change. So I just stopped. And I started again, afresh, a new beginning. It was terrifying to start afresh. I felt like I didn’t know any different. What do I do now? It’s all I ever knew. I had to retrain again. What have we done? All that resentment. I have wasted all four or five years, my aphasia score now is all gone down. I was in that cycle of wasting time.

The artistry industry is mentally challenging. A lot of artists are mentally broken because they’re in that go go go, masculine, create, create, create, and never get time to actually breathe. Because it’s very challenging, it is very demanding. You have to have high energy all the time. That physically drains your body. I look back at that and I’m so grateful, for that experience taught me so much.

Retraining to therapist

I asked the universe and I wasn’t spiritual back then. I was not into any of this. I was very skeptical. But I put a question out. I said, “What’s next? There must be more!” I kept looking online and reflexology kept coming up. I wondered why reflexology was coming on. As I retrained, I decided to take the leap of faith and trained in complementary therapies. And this was amazing. This is so good. This is what I want to do and flourish. My confidence was up through the roof. I was going to a lot of yoga classes for a long time and always wanted to be a yoga teacher, which is where the yoga stuff kind of came in. But I thought I wasn’t good enough. So I thought, I’m not going to do the yoga stuff for now because I’m not bendy enough or flexible enough and all the beliefs. So I ended up doing the massage first. That was a brilliant experience. I crossed out my business straight away after I certified. “Yes, I’m gonna set the business.” I didn’t even know how to set my own business up. I did it somehow.

I retrained. I got obsessed with learning about healing and holistic therapies. I did about 21 courses because I was so obsessed. I asked, what’s next? But then it’s not about what you’re learning, it’s about what you go through to actually get to where you are. But you learn so much about yourself and about people. I learned so much about people and human behavior and my own behavior. I now know myself.

 When you better yourself, you’re bettering your clients and everybody else around you

I’m ever evolving, I cannot just stop learning. I’m one of these people, as soon as I learn, I have to implement and integrate and share with other people. I naturally share because I don’t want people to be stuck in that space of stickiness and not being able to move. It’s not nice. Everyone deserves to learn and to grow and have that opportunity to evolve and amplify, which is where the amplifier kind of comes in.

What is Amplify?

This is about you finding your true self expression, your true voice. Amplifying your words, how you can transmute that pain to your purpose and to your profit. It’s how you can leave a legacy of change with your voice, your voice through your message, your voice for your image, your voice through the thoughts that you have, and the inner wisdom that you go through, everything that you’ve been through, amplify it out. Because there’s going to be people out there that don’t resonate with what you do or aren’t interested in. But there will be people who you could save their life. You could completely save their relationship the way they’re working. It’s like buying the soul back that they’ve not reclaimed, or they’ve not even acknowledged that’s hidden inside. That there is amplify.

Reason why people struggle

There’s so much shame around. That we shouldn’t be elaborating ourselves, especially in the UK. I love my country, don’t get me wrong. But we can be very stiff upper lip. We don’t want more than we should have. We tend to not go for things that we want because it’s easier and safer to stay small than it is to grow and evolve. It’s a painful experience because it’s not easy to grow. The easy way is to stay still. We’re scared of judgment or shy or scared of addressing our own issues. I certainly was. When I was confronted with all my stuff, I was terrified. I would say that’s the main reason people just stay stuck.

On the last 12 months of the pandemic

There’s a lot of tragedy but what comes from tragedy is that whole tragedy and comedy. That’s probably why I’ve got tragedy and comedy on my back as a tattoo. I didn’t realize why I had it at the time. It’s when you have these things and you look back and you realize there are reasons for these things. What comes from tragedy is you can smile again. You can get that smile back in your face, and you can shine your light on others, and help them get their smile back. The world is slowly waking up. We’re getting there. I feel a huge conscious shift in the last year. So many people wouldn’t class themselves as spiritual yet a lot of that has been transforming their world.

How Amplify works

It works in two ways. The first one is a very deep dive one-on-one. I have a three months mentorship program that goes like this, are you ready for By Donna Marie treatment? Let’s do it. Let’s dive deep into everything that you do, your vision, your voice, your visibility. We’re scaling your business so that it thrives on your terms. We can amplify your message and turn your content into a creative way that tells a story so that people understand what you’re all about. And then you can start to charge your value and leave a legacy of change.

The second one is a six months program, which is a deeper dive. I do a lot of photography in that process, really journeying through body image, self image, and bringing that into your brand. I have my mastermind that’s coming up in May 2021, which is a beta test. It’s the first time I’ve ever done a mastermind. It’s something that I’ve been building. It’s open and available for anyone who wants to go on a deep dive of discovery and then start their personal transformation or business transformation.

Deep intimacy is getting into people’s beliefs. Everything that I talk about is not just about business. 80% is deep inner work and 20% on strategy. I have a client that’s come to me, she’s got a Reiki business. But we’re not focusing on that right now, we’re focusing on her. After she’s gone through the program, then we can work on her business, because the two are connected for sure.

One has to learn these things in order to grow by cutting out all the pain and time wasted on doing the wrongs things and not doing the right thing. This is a deep dive, getting you to where you want to be a year from now. Taking that journey is incredible and one year makes a huge difference. It’s a commitment, an investment in self and not just for the person. What about your children? And your children’s children? It’s the legacy of generational worth, not generational wealth because this is a scaling program to upgrade your business to high ticket and go beyond the wealth that you can’t believe is possible. But it’s not the end of the program. It’s really about the generational passing on of worth to your children, the worth and the value that they can bring into the world for future generations.

The confidence muscle

It’s taken me about 10 years to fully embody confidence and know what confidence actually feels like. You can have different levels of confidence but until you really embody and feel it, and it clicks into place, you can’t appreciate it. It’s huge and makes you unstoppable, living life on your terms.

Tips to use in a healing journey

Awareness is number one. Be aware of why or what’s working, what’s not working. Let’s clear away what was not working so we can actually focus on what’s really, really working. And then we can upgrade from that. That is creating awareness, whether it’s awareness of a certain pattern, or a belief that keeps coming up, or a certain manifestation that kept showing up. Awareness is key to acceptance, as well as for self acceptance. If we can’t accept ourselves, how can we accept anyone else into our world? I believe everything’s a mirror. We are putting that out into the world. We have to acknowledge what we want. Don’t stay small and don’t just dream big. You don’t need a pipe dream, you just need a process, and work through trusting yourself. Because trust is huge. Write down all the areas where you feel trust is not happening or things aren’t happening. That process of journaling and writing out by literally mind dumping everything down, like this isn’t working, but this is. And then you can go forward with a strategy. That’s awareness of what you need to work through.

That takes the pressure off your shoulders. It is not about pushing or forcing. I’m a recovering perfectionist paralysis, I still probably got elements of it, it’s second guessing everything. That is still something that’s deeply rooted, and you still got to work through it, clear it. And then you can pace things easier. Doing less is more.

I see a lot of yoga teachers when we’re trying to reach enlightenment, we get so caught up in recording perfect videos yet nothing’s perfect. We’re ingrained for everything to be perfect. Yet your students and your clients actually like to see the vulnerability of everything not being perfect and that makes them feel humanly unnormalized.

I was watching the Lady Gaga documentary. She’s so real, unworn, vulnerable with a lot of flaws. I thought, wow, this woman has got a lot of flaws. And she’s incredibly successful. She’s a millionaire and she’s got all these flaws. It shows that even the most wealthy and rich famous people have the same problems because they’re reaching different levels. Every time you go to a different level, you’re going to have breakdowns and moments where you want to pull your hair out. That’s being human.

Doing less, achieving more

We have choices, every day make a new one. What do I choose today? What am I allowing myself? I’m not allowing it, if I allowed it life would be easy. You can’t just say, I’m gonna allow it is going to be easy and not always hard. You have to work every day, like, I’m going to allow space, I’m going to trust. You do things and go and do something else. The worst thing about business is that we can’t focus. When we get in that flow state, we end up forgetting, and 20 hours are gone in the day. And you’ve hardly achieved anything because you’re doing other things and you get distracted. We need to time batch what we’re doing and cut out all those hours and just bring it into doing less, achieving more.

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