Women in Wellness: Stepping away from your ego and embracing mindfulness with Cyd Crouse
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cyd Crouse, CMO of Muse®, Co-founder of Meditation Studio
I believe that people are here in order to make a bigger impact in the world — and with my book, ‘Make an Impact’, I had the chance to prove that hundreds of people are using their influence to improve other people’s lives.
As the founder of the Health Bloggers Community, my mission is to support people with growing their passion into a business — and so many women are building businesses empires all over the world.
This series is a chance to spotlight some of these women
“Be true to you. Emulating someone else’s success will only slow you down.”
Cyd Crouse is the CMO of Muse®, Co-founder of Meditation Studio, a serial entrepreneur, and world traveler. Her mission is to do good and make a positive impact wherever she goes. She has held leadership roles at Gaiam, Whole Foods Market, and Corporate Express, just to name a few.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I am a former technologist turned entrepreneur and marketing executive who is committed to doing good in the world. I’m fueled by the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better and I believe that mindful people make the world a better place.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
Definitely meditation. Studies suggest that meditation decreases stress, improves immunity, and lowers inflammation. It has also been linked to increased happiness and compassion.
I tend to use meditation situationally, especially when I’m facing a problem or difficult situation.
It has really helped me put some distance between my triggers and responses. I’ve become a better leader and, I think my husband would say, a better spouse.
Sleep is definitely my superpower. I’m in a minimum of three time zones per month so I have to be able to sleep anywhere and everywhere. When I’m on the go, a positive sleep routine really helps. I tend to keep my bedtime comforts minimal and portable — everything has to fit in my carry on. I use essential oil blends and limit my screen time. Chodo Campbell’s meditations help me relax and wind down after a long day.
Every month, I make an effort to step out of my usual routine and do something that makes me feel fully present and alive. While my work life is fairly structured, my personal life is more spontaneous. I love live music, art, deep conversations, and almost anything that might lead to a moment of awe. These activities always leave me feeling energized and inspired when I return to the office.
Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I found some success at a young age, but I was so exhausted and burnt out. Work was the focus of my life, not just a component of it. I became a person even I didn’t want to be around! I knew I needed to reset in order to move forward. I left my job and walked the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trail across northern Spain. Then, I drove to Panama and back in my 1970 International Scout. During the trip, I really pushed myself to find my purpose — that one thing that would make my life worthwhile, a life I wouldn’t regret. After a lot of soul searching and emotional work, my mantra finally came to me at the Copan Ruins in Honduras: do good. I packed up, headed home, and I’ve been doing my best to follow this mantra ever since.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Early in my career, my ego was overly tied to everything I did. I felt full credit for the success and full credit for the failures. I knew this needed to change so I started doing deep work in order to figure out what makes a good human and a good leader.
I had to step away from the ego in order to find meaning and engage externally. I think there are so many people who want to help others find their success or navigate their failures. We just need to make those connections.
When it comes to health and wellness, how are you helping people making a bigger impact in the world?
With Meditation Studio, we’ve made meditation accessible to the masses. With Muse®, we help people experience the mind-body connection in a whole new way. When you have a consistent meditation practice, the positive effects reverberate out into your community. You’re more connected, more positive, and more compassionate, which makes the world a better place.
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?
Lynn Powers has been my boss, mentor and very close friend since I had my first start up in 1998. I reported directly to her when she was the CEO of Gaiam and she was an investor in Meditation Studio. She is my constant cheerleader, something we all need, and always believes in me, but she also helps me own my mistakes, which is just as important. I’m so grateful for her guidance.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I think universal mindfulness would do wonders. Mindfulness in our schools, our homes, even in politics. This Jon Kabat-Zinn quote comes to mind: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” If this idea was realized, the world would be such an amazing and different place.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I make a point to support grassroots nonprofits, such as Give Back Yoga. I also work hard to be there for other female entrepreneurs and leaders, just as Lynn helped me. I do my best to lead by example.
What is your “I Thing I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.
Be true to you. Emulating someone else’s success will only slow you down.
Do you have any “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would they be?
Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorites. Following her honest, messy, funny and real-life journey on social media has been a joy. I’d love to have an hour of real conversation with her.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Early in my career, protecting the environment was very important to me. My work at Whole Foods, ccgenesis, and even Gaiam was centered around helping people minimize their negative impact on the planet. However, my focus in the last decade has changed. I realized that in order to save the planet, we need healthy humans. My new focus is helping people reach their full potential.
You can follow Cyd on Twitter (@cydcrouse) or Linkedin.
About the author:
Fab Giovanetti is a business mentor, published author, influencer-specialist, best known as the founder of the Health Bloggers Community and co-founder of the Register of Health and Wellness Influencers.
Serial start-up founder and professional troublemaker, she is obsessed with avocados and helping people making an impact in health and wellness. Sounds like you? Get daily tips on how to grow your influence via the HBC magazine.