Shira and I are both inspired to bring tools of well-being and mindfulness to people who haven’t had access to it in the past. We create a safe space for expression and exploration into who each of us are and how we grow together toward community abundance. To this end, we’d love to inspire a movement of compassion and kindness. Can we find kindness for ourselves, but not at the expense of kindness for others? Can we create a level field where we all have access to the same tools, classes and conversations? Can we use our gifts to lift others and to serve from the heart? Can we do this in a responsible and meaningful way that we are all looked after to continue on?
As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shira Lazar and Jordana Reim. Shira Lazar is the Founder/CEO of the Emmy Nominated digital media brand, What’s Trending. In October 2018, she became the host of the afternoon drive show “Lets Go There” weekdays on the first national LGBTQ+ station Channel Q syndicated and on Radio.com. In her spare time, she loves sharing her passion for curiosity, joyful living and mindfulness on her own social platforms @shiralazar. While in quarantine in April 2020, Shira launched PeaceInside.Live, a platform with FREE live zoom classes daily around mindfulness, meditation and movement.
Jordana Reim has dedicated her life to expanding consciousness — her own, her community’s, and humanity’s. She has spent the last decade refining her personal practice through travels and residencies at some of the most sacred and beautiful places on Earth including the islands of Thailand, ashrams of India and the Himalayas of Nepal and Bhutan.
On a continual search for higher ground, the New Jersey-native shares her considerable learnings as she coaches others in corporate, group and private meditation, breathing, and other wellness modalities. In her previous career, Reim was an award-winning producer of advertising on New York City’s storied Madison Ave. Her teachings seamlessly bridge the gap between ancient practice and modern day mindsets.
In 2020 Reim co-founded Peace Inside Live, a live and interactive platform for meditation, movement and mindfulness classes with students and teachers from around the world.
Reim is the author of Inner Peace: A Guided Meditation Journal for Beginners. Her recorded meditations have reached over 250,000 listeners on iTunes, Spotify, Insight Timer, Simple Habit and Unplug Meditation apps.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Shira and Jordana! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Shira: I have been working in digital broadcasting and storytelling for 15 years. It led me to start my company What’s Trending, which got nominated for an Emmy. I have also hosted broadcasts for awards shows like the Grammys, Oscars and The Tonys. Throughout the ups and downs of the media business and entrepreneurship, I started focusing on my own personal growth and journey towards finding inner joy. It became obvious that I couldn’t rely on the things outside of me for that. That journey led me to learn vedic meditation, Taoism and go on a transformational trip with Jordana to Everest Basecamp. We started co-creating from there, and I began integrating my passions around mindfulness and curiosity into my work. That then led us to launching Peace Inside Live during quarantine. Now, I get to attend our amazing virtual classes, plus bring these tools to communities around the world with gifted facilitators.
Jordana: I worked for over a decade in advertising, digital and strategy for entertainment companies and then Fortune 100 brands. My journey with yoga and introspective practice began in college and I continued to nurture it in parallel to my corporate career. I came to a career high point as an Executive Producer but, despite my personal practice, I had lost touch with true myself. I knew that I was more than how I spent my time, but I couldn’t help but to define myself that way and it led me to feelings of sadness and loneliness. After some time diving deeper into my meditative practice, I was able to change the way I looked at my life. I also recognized my attachment to “doing” and “defining” still left more for me to tackle. In 2016, I decided to leave my job, to travel through India and Asia, to do deeper studies and work on myself. In 2017 I was teaching meditation and students began to come to me for support in transforming their lives. I started 180 Retreats bringing groups into nature for contemplative practice. My longtime friend Shira took notice and was the first one to sign up for my 2019 trip “Trekking & Transformation” to Everest Base Camp. It was at 4410 meters that we formulated our first collaboration on transformational content for IGTV. In 2020 the 180 Retreats’ annual trip to Everest was cancelled, so I held a different kind of retreat — an online retreat. In that heart-filling success, I shared with Shira that I wanted to bring community together like this every day. She said to me, “so let’s do it!” We started it together and have been fully committed since!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Shira: Hosting a global dance party with Magic Rise India! Watching people connect and dance with each other from their homes around the world was fun and inspiring. Plus, on a personal level, my parents have attended classes and now talk about how much it’s helped them. It’s really brought us together to have deeper and honest conversations and the first time they talk about self love and working on themselves! It’s been pretty amazing to witness.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Jordana: So I live in Thailand and it was my first time teaching a class in a new home. I had this beautiful view of the beach I wanted to use as my backdrop and since my class began before 8am Thai time I figured it would be quiet. It just so happened that workers were scheduled to chop wood, located underneath my house, at that time. I wasn’t live for more than two minutes before I was interrupted by workers behind me, pulling wood logs out from under the house and chopping it in the background. I got up and greeted the men in Thai, but then had to ask them to stop and not come back for 90 minutes! They wanted to keep going and I had to explain in broken English and Thai that they needed to stop immediately! My class watched me go from zen to zen-boss-lady and back. I learned that I can’t risk teaching outside and to make sure that my landlords have my teaching schedule! Also wherever I live I make sure there’s a beautiful filming space, quiet and high-speed wifi.
What do you think makes Peace Inside Live stand out? Can you share a story?
Shira: Beyond being live, interactive and global, we offer different spaces to do inner work and have uncomfortable conversations that lead to individual change. For instance, we host a bi-monthly town hall called The Other America, where we bring together storytellers, healers and activists for conversations around racism and social injustices.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Shira: We are working with brands/ companies bringing mindfulness and tools for inner peace to their employees for virtual sessions. We also bring our services to non-profits and those working on the front lines. We believe the future of work incorporates this into their day to day culture. We have done virtual sessions with organizations including Boys and Girl Club of America, Miry’s List and Thirst Project among others.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Jordana: Balance is key and honoring the cycles of your energy. In order to produce and to give, you can’t be on all the time. Finding ways to recalibrate daily, weekly and monthly is how I sustain myself. I try to lead by example but I’d also suggest that female leaders support their teams with resources for well-being. If we are well, we can do better work. If we are inspired outside of what we think our work is supposed to be, our work gets better. On a daily basis I make sure I take time for breathing, meditation, walking and healthy food. On a weekly basis I’ll have other projects I move forward creatively and every month I take a mini-vacation to reset. On days where I am low energy I do my best to push less and to give myself more care. On days where I have a lot of energy, I’ll plow through to-do’s. I check in with myself on this and always make sure I do my best to get enough sleep so that the next day’s possibilities aren’t limited by sluggishness!
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Shira: Keep working on yourself and learning. Know when to take responsibility/accountability and lead by example. Don’t micromanage and allow your team to take ownership of what they’re doing while continuing to make sure you are an active participant in the process. Create a safe space for learning, communication and feedback. Don’t wait for things to get bad, deal with things in real time yet but give space to act thoughtfully Vs react.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Shira: Building this, we have really relied on each other personally and professionally. We’ve created a space for vulnerability and honesty as partners, so we can pick up the slack and support each other when it’s needed. There are moments when one of us can’t do something or can’t make it to a meeting, and we can rely on one another to handle it. Building that trust and support is rare, but through communication we get there even when it means having difficult conversations.
Jordana: Peace Inside Live was an idea in pencil on a sheet of paper before Shira came on board with full power and trust that we could execute the vision. We launched the platform after only 13 days- planning, brainstorming, organizing, writing and execution. It moved so quickly, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “who are you to be doing this?”
I have always admired Shira and the work she has done with What’s Trending and on YouTube. During those moments of doubt, I had Shira’s support to be grateful for. With all her experience, this was what she was choosing to do next and she was and is all in on it. That snowballs and inspires me right back again.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Shira: I hope the foundation of everything we do comes from a place of service. We want people to feel good about themselves and we do our work to support a life-journey to inner joy and peace.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Stay curious and keep learning
- Stay humble
- Take care of yourself- you can’t pour from an empty cup
- Have a vision, but don’t be so attached to your vision that it limits your path
You are both people of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Jordana: Shira and I are both inspired to bring tools of well-being and mindfulness to people who haven’t had access to it in the past. We create a safe space for expression and exploration into who each of us are and how we grow together toward community abundance. To this end, we’d love to inspire a movement of compassion and kindness. Can we find kindness for ourselves, but not at the expense of kindness for others? Can we create a level field where we all have access to the same tools, classes and conversations? Can we use our gifts to lift others and to serve from the heart? Can we do this in a responsible and meaningful way that we are all looked after to continue on?
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Peace comes from within, do not seek it without” -Buddha
Jordana: For much of my life I sought satisfaction and validation from outside. It was only when I realized that I was responsible for my own happiness and that it was a choice that my life began to change. I began to enjoy it, to laugh more, to be excited about choices I make and to forever let go of FOMO because the party is where I’m at and when I’m at peace with myself, it’s all good.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
@oprah @dalailama @donmiguelruiz @estherperel
They each have deep wisdom and experiences around mindfulness, curiosity, inner joy, our search for meaning, love, and relationships.
How can our readers connect with you on social media?
IG, Twitter and Facebook:
Peace Inside Live on FB
@shiralazar on IG and @jordanaisyoga on IG