On Becoming with Zeva Bellel
Finding Stability Amidst Impermanence with Wellness Entrepreneur Caroline Wachsmuth
The illusion of permanence can be blinding as we shift and grow. In our search for long-lasting security, we overlook our very human need to evolve, experiment and explore the unknown. What I've discovered is that fostering inner security—the sense of an "inner home"—is the key to navigating life's unpredictable twists with resilience, curiosity and grace. `
To navigate the tension between stability and adventure, control and exploration, I invited globetrotting wellness pioneer, Caroline Wachsmuth, to share how she broke free from the claustrophobic conformity of her Swiss upbringing to create a multi-passionate, multi-cultural, multi-continental life. Her journey explores the fundamental truth that "home" is less a geographic place, but a feeling cultivated deep within oneself.
Born and raised in Switzerland, Caroline's fascination with botanicals and aromatherapy started at an early age. After beginning her career as a journalist, she studied beauty design at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis before launching Doux Me, the very first certified-organic skincare line in France, in 2002. Despite Doux Me's success, in 2012 she sold her brand. Today, Caroline has carved a niche for herself as a multifaceted entrepreneur – a personal trainer, yoga instructor, reiki practitioner, advisor to beauty brands, and author. A holistic beauty expert with thousands of self-tested recipes, she just launched the third edition of her book, "Seasons," a captivating blend of art and DIY recipes. Next year, her first memoire will hit the bookshelves. Having lived and worked on three continents and in fifteen cities, Caroline currently lives in San Francisco, California, but she's always keeping her heart open for new destinations to lay her yoga mat, and strengthen her practice.
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Artwork Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Editing Matthew Jordan
Music © Fabrice Fortin
Interested in career coaching with Zeva, the host of On Becoming?
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8. Normalizing the Ugly, Icky and In-Between with Melissa Unger01:00:45Every day I hear from women who feel stuck. As a coach, my job is to help them release what’s holding them back, and get them moving forward. This conversation altered my perspective on "stuck." A word that our culture patholgizes. “Quick, let’s fix the problem!" This conversation reframes growth, suggesting there’s a lot to celebrate in the fallow, neutral space of a woman’s life, when a metamorphosis is happening out of view. And yet this liminal, in-between phase can be terrifying, especially if we’re prone to overachieving the heck out of life, tackling one ambitious goal after another, like the guest of my program did for most of her 56-years.About Melissa Unger:Melissa Unger is a Brooklyn-based, Franco-American author, artist and creative director. In 2011, she founded Seymour Projects, a collaborative initiative devoted to nurturing human consciousness in a world increasingly dominated by technology. Over the course of her 30+ year career, she’s worked with many renowned organizations including Tribeca Productions, The Ad Council, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, artnet, and the Creative Growth Art Center. Early in her career she was also the personal assistant to Robert De Niro and Daniel Day Lewis! Melissa and her projects have been featured in The Huffington Post, Die Zeit, ELLE Magazine, Le Monde, El Pais, and New York Magazine. Her visual art has been exhibited in various art spaces, as well as featured on a variety of products. She’s a member of the Intentional Spaces/NeuroArts, Kinnernet and DLD communities and a participant in evolutionary behavioral scientist Tamás Dávid-Barrett’s discussion group Human Beast. Highlights of of conversation include:Why our society pathologizes inertiaWhy the in-bewteen feels so icky when you’re in itMoving from mind over to body driven intentions How capiltalism perpetuates the feeling of “not enough” Identity shifts after moving home after a decade in FranceWhy fallow is a fertile phase of invisible growthEmbracing all emotions, like a full color paletteHow art and creativity impact personal growthThe power of intentional spaces and neuroaestheticsThe importance of feeling heard and understood when you’re wired differently Links:Melissa's IGWebsiteGagCredits: Artwork Jessie Kanelos Weiner; Editing Matthew Jordan; Music © Fabrice FortinWant to get in touch with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call or leave me a message speak pipe.com/onbecoming.
7. Lili Barbery-Coulon: Accepting the Wounds I Walk With01:20:04Today's guest is Lili Barbery-Coulon, one of the most influential and prolific voices in wellbeing and personal development in France today. She's a published author, yoga & meditation teacher, podcaster, blogger and soon-to-be novelist. She's kind of the Oprah of France (but don't tell her I said so).Lili and I met back in the early 2000s when she was a PR at the Paris concept store, Colette, and I was a beauty journalist. Our friendship was born over beauty samples and press releases, but has matured into a collaborative camaraderie and mutual cheerleading squad. Beyond our friendship, I know her through my coaching clients who admire her voice and talent, but who have a glorified vision of her journey. The price? Their comparison syndrome limits their own ambitions. My aim here is to complete Lili's portrait—not just showcasing the inspiring and luminous aspects, but the challenging and uncomfortable facets that she rarely explores publicly. About Lili:Lili began her career in PR before becoming a journalist for Vogue France and later M magazine at Le Monde. In 2010, she launched, Ma Récréation (which later became Lilibarbery.com), where she writes delicious essays to an audience of tens of thousands. In 2018, she published, Pimp My Breakfast; in 2019, La Réconciliation; and in 2021, she collaborated with her artist husband, Bastien Coulon, on "L’Oracle des Mantras," published in French and English. During the COVID quarantine, she gave live meditations on Instagram and her popularity shot through the roof, leading to her own yoga and meditation channel, Lilibarbery.TV and the Lili Barbery podcast. Tune in to to hear about:Lili's early years as an avid writer and "blogger" before her time.The self-doubt she faced when launching her blog in 2010.How she handles criticism and the fear of being judged.How she deals with persistent "Am I good enough?" insecurities as a yoga teacher.Identifying when she's creating from a fear of lack, rather than joy.Finding balance between vulnerability and self-protection on social media.The impact of intergenerational trauma.Learning to accept, rather than trying to fix, old wounds.Credits: Artwork Jessie Kanelos Weiner; Editing Matthew Jordan; Music © Fabrice FortinWant to get in touch with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call or leave me a message speak pipe.com/onbecoming.
6. Translating Terroir to Tea: How French CEO Cyrielle Thomas Launched Tea Tourism in Japan01:00:18My guest today is someone who's weathered the storm of change right alongside me. Back in 2016, Cyrielle Thomas and I got laid off (with 200 other colleagues) from our beloved jobs at Yelp. As her hiring manager, I was honestly concerned for her future. I knew she'd get snatched up in a second (which she did, by UberEats and later Airbnb), but I feared she'd never find a position that lit her up as much, as her community manager role did with Yelp.Well, boy was I wrong! Not only did she find her footing, she used all of her local-loving, community-building, connection-making wisdom to brew up a whole new tourism genre, one that, quite literally, fits her to a "T." (sorry for the puns, I can't help myself)About Cyrielle Thomas:Born in France and raised in Africa, Cyrielle Thomas moved back to France at 18 but felt like a stranger in her home country. After experimenting briefly with medical studies she moved to Bordeaux to get her marketing masters at INSEEC. In 2013, she joined Yelp to oversee all local community and marketing efforts in Bordeaux. After Yelp closed its international marketing division, she launched UberEats, and then Airbnb "Experiences" in Bordeaux. In 2017, she discovered the world of Japanese tea but was frustrated by how difficult it was to find and connect with the best tea and producers and businesses. Inspired by wine tourism in France, she came up with the idea for Dokocha, the first tea tourism platform in Japan, making her the first female foreign entrepreneur in the tea tourism industry in Japan. In 2020 she moved to Fukuoka, Japan (Bordeaux's twin city), where she oversees a team of ten to grow Dokocha and its sister company, Digitomenu.In our delicious conversation we cover:Cyrielle's upbringing in Cameroon and how that shaped her outlook.Why coming back to France was a shock to her system.How she manifested landing her dream job at Yelp.What was holding her back from succeeding at Yelp.How our "special 1:1 time" together freed her to embrace risk.What her experiences at Yelp, Airbnb and Uber taught her about entrepreneurialism.How she fell in love with Japanese tea.How she came up with the idea for her tea tourism company.What she did after every single French bank rejected her.Why she decided to relocate to Japan to build her business.Facing gender bias and overcoming stereotypes as a female founder.Links and mentions:https://www.dokocha.com/https://digitomenu.com/en/Bossypants (the book I gave her that she keeps on her desk)To leave Zeva a voice message with feedback/questions:Speak PipeCredits:Artwork Jessie Kanelos WeinerEditing Matthew JordanMusic © Fabrice FortinInterested in career coaching with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call here.
4. The Hardest Decision She Ever Made (aka Zeva's Becoming Story)30:30Are we wired for the paths we choose? Or does each micro decision we make inform our future experiences?These questions drive every episode in this podcast. And this unexpected solo show is no exception!With her mic set up. The house empty and quiet. On Becoming host, Zeva Bellel, found herself guest-less after a last minute cancellation.Instead of packing up her equipment and calling it a day. She look a deep breath, and decided to share her personal becoming story, starting with her early life in Brooklyn, her exposure to French language and culture, her first visits to Paris, and her subsequent decision to move and live there indefinitely.From New York to France, she explores the essence of destiny and autonomy that shapes our experiences, including:• How music plays a role in language affinity• The dilemma of choosing the right path when you don't want to hurt the ones you love• The familiar tug-and-pull between fate and free-will• How venturing into unfamiliar territories, be it places or experiences, can make you feel more yourselfThe overall episode digs into the themes of intuition, longing, loss, and the daunting feeling of limitless freedom.Links:wwww.zevabellel.comhttps://www.learner.org/series/french-in-action/https://www.schools.nyc.gov/schools/K239To leave Zeva a voice message with feedback/questions:Speak PipeCredits:Artwork Jessie Kanelos WeinerEditing Matthew JordanMusic © Fabrice FortinInterested in career coaching with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call here.
3. Intuition on the Menu: Eating Designer Marije Vogelzang's Gut-Driven Journey52:14It's hard to trust your gut—intuitive whispers get gobbled up quickly by the shouting of the world around us. But when a woman deliberately sharpens her intuitive skills, her choices, creations and words can reshape the world. On the latest episode of On Becoming, I'm joined by Dutch eating designer, Marije Vogelzang, who literally created a new design genre by following her gut. From Marije's journey as a doubt-filled design student to leading a new generation of boundary-bending creatives, this conversation covers sensorial experiences, risk taking, self love, and why we should all start speaking to our bad-ass future selves. Listen to expand your perspectives and discover new possibilities for your work, and life!About Marije Volgenzang.Marije Vogelzang designs experiences using food as her medium, a genre she pioneered as a student at the Design Academy Eindhoven. After graduating in 2000, she founded Proef, a (now defunct) design workshop and experimental restaurant in the Netherlands. In 2008, she published her first book, "EAT LOVE," chronicling the initial decade of her career, and in 2022, "Lick It," an edible exercise book with 32 food challenges designed to transform our relationship with food. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, from Tokyo to New York, and featured in renowned publications like the New York Times, Wallpaper magazine and ICON magazine. She was one of Fast Company’s Top 100 most creative people in business and a finalist of the World Technology Awards in the design section. In 2014 she became the head of the FOOD NON FOOD department at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and in 2016 she launched the Dutch Institute of Food and Design global platform for designers working with food and eating.Links:https://www.marijevogelzang.nl/https://www.designacademy.nl/https://thedifd.com/To leave Zeva a voice message with feedback/questions:Speak PipeCredits:Artwork Jessie Kanelos WeinerEditing Matthew JordanMusic © Fabrice FortinInterested in career coaching with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call here.
2. From Heart to Loom: How Maryanne Moodie’s Emotional Weaves Sparked a Textile Renaissance53:15Busy hands can assist the mind in processing overwhelming experiences and emotions. That's why during times of transition, growth, or change, many people intuitively turn to handicrafts, like ceramics, kitting, woodworking or weaving. Beyond the pleasure of creating, the repetitive movements allow previously hidden insights and connections to sharpen and surface.Few people understand the emotional wisdom of weaving as intimately as the internationally-renowned Australian textile artist, Maryanne Moodie. In this uplifting conversation Maryanne shares how her journey has shaped her craft, and her craft, her journey.About Maryanne Moodie: Maryanne fell into weaving after finding a loom in an arts supply closet before heading off on maternity leave over a decade ago. But what began as pastime quickly evolved into a wildly successful artistic career at the core of a textile renaissance.Today, Maryanne travels the world leading fully-booked weaving workshops and is the accomplished author of two bestsellers: "On the Loom, A Modern Weaver's Guide" (2016) and "Maryanne Moodie's Modern Weaver: Where Color Meets Loom" (2022). Her designs, which are influenced by vintage textiles, modern art, and the natural world, have graced the pages of prestigious publications such as New York Magazine, Milk Decoration, Anthology, O Magazine, and Grazia. You can explore her creations in her Etsy store or request a special commission. What we discuss:How her weaving pastime became a full-fledged profession.The emotional benefits of hands-on activities during life transitions.How living abroad can intensify and expedite the process of self-discovery.How technique, storytelling and emotion intersect on Maryanne's loom.How Maryanne's past careers and skills are woven into her artistic vision and business.Why losing touch with our hands also disconnects us from our communities.The importance of creating future heirlooms that are light on the earth.How the transformative experience of menopause is influencing Maryanne's artwork.Maryanne's intuitive tools to find creative flow in her work.Links:https://www.instagram.com/maryannemoodie/https://www.etsy.com/market/maryanne_moodieTo leave Zeva a voice message with feedback/questions:Speak PipeCredits:Artwork Jessie Kanelos WeinerEditing Matthew JordanMusic © Fabrice FortinInterested in career coaching with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call here.
1. Wealth and a Woman's Freedom : Clara Moley's Awakening to Financial Feminism56:52La Bonne Élève, or the "model student." Women know the part by heart. It’s when you stick to the rules. Wait to be called on. Do what's expected of you. Consider others before yourself. The role provides a safe and steady path towards praise, but the real world operates differently. Those who stand up (especially when they're not called on) to assert themselves and advocate for their interests, often have more influence, and ultimately, more freedom. But how do you shed the "model student" mindset when you've been taught all your life to play it safe? And what's really at stake for women who never break out of that mold?Join me in an episode about the changing rules of the game for women at work (and beyond!), with my guest, the gender equality author and activist, Clara Moley.About Clara Moley:Born and raised in France, Clara embarked on a transformative journey when she spent five years working in Brazil's male-dominated commodities trading world. As the sole woman in her circle, Clara realized that her gender was an obstacle, as well as an opportunity to reshape the rules she's always lived by. This eye-opening experience led to the launch of 'Les Règles du Jeu,' a podcast series in 2019 that offers tangible tips to empower women in the workplace. In 2020, the podcast was translated into english and expanded into a memoire/self-development book by the same name. In 2022, Clara expanded her mission by launching 'Starter Pack,' a podcast series focused on financial literacy for women, furthering her commitment to helping women gain financial freedom and power.In this episode, we dive into the following topics:How to pursue your convictions, even when the path ahead is uncertain.The power of self-awareness in confronting harsh realities.Why actions speak louder than words in dismantling gendered roles at home.Clara's upbringing and its profound impact on her activism and passion for gender equality.Recognizing and addressing internalized sexism in the workplace.Leveraging micro-empowerments as fail-safe tactics for progress at work.Breaking the taboo surrounding women and money.Why women are better at savers than investers?Why financial feminism is the next frontier in women's liberation.Links:Clara's websiteTo leave Zeva a voice message with feedback/questions:Speak PipeCredits:Artwork Jessie Kanelos WeinerEditing Matthew JordanMusic © Fabrice FortinInterested in career coaching with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call here.
On Becoming Season Two (Trailer)03:00Hosted by Zeva Bellel, a NYC-raised, Paris-based, certified career coach, On Becoming tells the true transformation stories of inspiring women entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators. Instead of merely focusing on where they are now, we peel back the onion and take a lovingly honest look at their becoming journey. We’ll hear about how they made difficult decisions in the pursuit of deep self-expression and fulfilment, especially when they wandered off course and deviated from the classic path. Listen to find out how their hidden journeys can help unlock your own potential.Subscribe now to listen to the season two, which launches on October 5th. To leave Zeva a voice message with feedback/questions:Speak PipeCredits:Artwork Jessie Kanelos WeinerEditing Matthew JordanMusic © Fabrice FortinInterested in career coaching with Zeva, the host of On Becoming? Book a free discovery call here.