Magic, Miracles, and Mosquitoes in the Amazon, Oh My!


Magic, Miracles, and Mosquitoes in the Amazon – Oh My!

Iquitos-MapIs visiting the Amazon and going to Machu Picchu on your bucket list?  I highly recommend that you bump it up and go sooner than later. You need stamina for this kind of trip.  And it’s too good to wait. 

I had the great honor and blessing to spend 15 days in The Amazon jungle, living on site with the shaman and his family, alongside 7 other American friends as we seek out the wisdom and healing of the Ayahuasca medicine.  Afterward we spent 6 days touring around Cuzco, the neighboring cities, and finally making it to Machu Picchu.



MachuPichuIt was an incredible trip in so many ways.  It has been a few weeks since I got back and I am still struggling for words to describe and capture the full extent of the journey.  Partly because all the pieces are still coming together.  Perhaps that is one of the many messages that I am receiving:  Life and her lessons continue to show themselves to me, long after the event is over.  My job is to look, listen, and take in.  

I will break the highlights into different links, so that you can click on to whatever topic that interest you the most.  I have some beautiful pictures of the trip; the Ayahuasca process and her impact on us; and what 3 things I learned from The Amazon that might help you with your business and love life.  


As always I look forward to hearing your reactions and comments.  

Please leave me a note below and share what calls to you from the Amazon or the Ayahuasca Experience.


Now, That’s HOT!






For more information on Mai’s Signature Event “Hot Life Hot Love” Click here

Bali Untamed: Day 7–Rani and Her BioRock

Saving her coral reef
Ronnie saving her coral reefs

A long time ago (in the early 1980s), there was this young Australian woman named Rani Muirwig. She discovered a simple little fishing town called Pemuteran, in Bali Indonesia, where there were spectacular coral reefs for snorkeling and diving. Ronnie loved to scuba dive. So, she made this town her new favorite get away place.

In the 1990’s the Indonesian government declared that bombing was the most efficient way to fish. So the fishermen were encouraged to put explosion into the ocean to kill thousands of fish at a time, despite the destructive impact on the coral reefs. Furthermore, the (very poor) fishermen discovered that aquarium fish were fetching a high price on the market. And the best way to catch them was to put cyanide poison into the coral reef to stun the fish so that they can bag them easily.

Evidence of coral reef destruction at a different beach/town that does not have Ronnie angel protection
Evidence of coral reef destruction at a different beach/town that does not have Ronnie angel protection

When Rani came back to her playground some years later, she discovered that most of her reef were either dead or broken into bits and pieces washed onto the shore. The water was dark and dingy and her beautiful colorful fish were all gone. Rani was devastated.

She didn’t know what to do or whom to turn to. Because this was not seen as a problem to anyone there. She tried to complain, but to whom? The fishermen were just trying to feed their family. Pemuteran was a very harsh place, very little rain, no rice growing field, very little tourist, and no factory. She spent many days walking up and down her favorite beach, sucking hard on her cigarettes, trying to think of ways to stop this madness.

Pemuteran: Harsh and dry
Pemuteran: Harsh and dry

Luckily by 1997, because the reef was destroyed, along with global warming, the fishing became much more scarce and the local government had to do something to address their livelihood problem. At the same time, by some divine intervention (the Balinese would say) Rani met Professor Wolf Hibertz on one of her walks on the beach. This wiry gray hair man, was busy setting up some strange new contraption on her beach. As the two got to know each other, she learned that he was working on a BioRock project, where he and his team go around the world to try to revitalize and safe the coral reefs.

Coral Process
Coral Process

The process was very simple. They attached various live corals to a metal framework (this served as the anode), then ran 12 volt electricity to it (via solar power) and attached a cathode nearby, somehow the current flow between the cathode and anode stimulated growth in the coral, five times faster than normal speed.

Excitedly, Rani said “That’s great!!! can you fix all the reef here? How many more of these things can you put in? Problem solved, right?” “Not so fast” he said. “First of all, to revive this coast right here we would require many structures, and that needs money. Secondly if they continue to bomb the reef as we build them up, it would defeat our purpose. We must get the locals involved and change their thinking and ways of fishing. And we can’t change that unless we help them feed their families.”

Thousand of species of fish have come back to Pemuteran
Thousand of species of fish have come back to Pemuteran

Long story short, Rani got involved! She spent the last ten years taking on this project. She became the protector and driving force behind the technology. Today, the reefs in Pemuteran are beautiful and full of fish. I saw them with my own eyes. The gentle waves that lap onto the beach are not cluttered with bits of crumbled corals, unlike other beaches in Bali, where there is no coral reef protection enforcement. The scientists are long gone. Rani is left with a small handful of locals to maintain and care for the project. Tourism is alive and well in Pemuteran, because people want to see the project and the reefs, therefore the town of Pemuteran has a source of income. So the fish are happy, the people are happy, and Rani is happy.

See the metal structure underneath the healthy growing corals?
See the metal structure underneath the healthy growing corals?

The reason why I wrote about Rani, is because of the leadership story underneath the coral reef story. As I listened to her recounting her involvement, looked a the lines on her face, and felt the passion in her words (ten plus years into this project and she was still passionate), I was moved and inspired by her. She is a simple woman, just another global citizen like anyone of us. She didn’t have any grand plan to do good or make a difference. She just loved looking at those pretty fish around the corals. Yet she made a huge difference because she cared and because she got involved. And she is humble about it, doing everything that is needed to keep the project alive and to revitalize Pemuteran. She is not thumping her chest to say “Look at me, Look at me…” She is truly an example of a female leader.

Here’s to you Rani. Thank you for bringing the fish back to Pemuteran.

ps. If you would like to know more details, this 7min. link explains what happened

A new specie of fish just invaded the reef
A new specie of fish just invaded the reef

And if you would like to participate in saving the coral reefs, you can adopt a baby coral. It’s COOL! and makes a meaningful gift for someone. The gift that keeps on giving.

Female Leaders: Are You Too “Mothering”?

One of my clients shared a feedback that she got recently: “You are too mothering.” She was annoyed and insulted by it. Of course it was said to her by a male colleague, who is single and has no kid. She felt completely unseen and unappreciated for it.

(By the way, Men, by chance you are reading this: If you ever say this to a woman, especially one who is a mother, you must be prepared for a fight, and know that this comment will sting for a long time, no matter how right you might be.)

What are the qualities of “mothering”?

As a mother, myself, I would define it as:

- Caring, loving, dedicating of ourselves

- Being responsible 24/7: doing chores, all the grunt work, what ever it takes to be there for…

- Protecting, providing, serving

So when does a leader (or a mother) become too mothering?

- She starts to believe that the org can’t do without her, so she takes on too much. She becomes the martyr.

- She can’t stand the thought that her people might FAIL, so she tries to overly protect. She becomes the saint.

- She exhausts herself. She is an emotional wreck. She forgets her own needs, wants, and boundaries. She becomes a victim.

The combination of Victim, Martyr and Saint is like the iceberg to the Titanic, for female executives.

So LADIES!!! You get to keep your “mothering” qualities. That is how women lead. That is what makes us great. Because we are willing to care deeply, that we would do anything to serve. And we are creative, nimble, and a great juggler of many balls. We are a success story.

BUT you don’t get to carry a cross, or nail yourself on the cross, or even ascend into heaven while you are leading your organization.

We need you healthy, whole, trusting, confident, and having clear boundaries and judgments. So that you can be the great leader that we know you are.

I salute you.