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148 Waverly Place
New York, NY, 10014
United States

New, female-led commemorative jewelry and gifts company offering stylish alternatives to traditional college and high school gifts like class rings. Many of the collections are inspired by high school and college architecture. 

 

Compass Connections

Discover the Nature of your Leadership

kyle walotsky

March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month. Throughout every industry and in the streets of New York we have heard and seen campaigns empowering female leadership. To continue this theme I wanted to celebrate two women entrepreneurs whose clarity, passion and belief in their purpose has been an endless source of strength. Friends and mentors - from my freshman year dorm room to launching Kyle Cavan, I want to introduce you to two of my greatest sounding boards and fellow female entrepreneurs, Kristin and Alexandra.

Kristin Gregory Meek and Alexandra Dupont Crosswell hold their BA’s in developmental psychology and psychology, respectively, from Duke University and now have a masters and PhD between them. Their pathways though different, Kristin as a consultant and entrepreneur and Alexandra as a health psychologist and researcher, have now merged in mission as they co-create a leadership development business called WYLD. I asked them to interview one another and explain to us more about WYLD, their work and their opinions on what women are seeking most right now.

Check out www.wyleadership.com to learn more about their June WYLD Women Retreat in Wyoming or sign up for their daylong Women Who Run with the Wolves retreat in San Francisco on May 6th.

ADC:  I am so proud of what you've built with WYLD. Tell everyone what it is, and where it came from?

KGM: WYLD is a leadership retreat business inspired by my love of the great outdoors and passion for human growth and development. WYLD is built upon the science and stories of ancient indigenous wisdom, neuroscience, and positive psychology. Through activities like moving cattle, shooting guns, fly fishing or working with horses, participants learn about their strengths, their brain and their impact and potential as a leader and storyteller. Similar to Kyle Cavan’s logo, the compass and four directions serve as a metaphor and developmental model for WYLD’s curriculum. People learn and grow best when their body and mind are are in tandem and experiencing something meaningful. Giving yourself the gift of reflection, wilderness and adventure is vital for our wellbeing and yet an opportunity we often disregard in our overwhelmed lives. WYLD serves as a catalyst to improve the way people and teams work and navigate everyday life.

KGM:  Now it's my turn to brag, you are a wise WYLD woman scientist, share more about what you study, why it's important to you, and why it's important to the world?

ADC: I have always been fascinated by the mind-body connection. Finally science has caught up to what we know intuitively -- that the mind and body are deeply connected and we need to understand this connection in order to heal ourselves from trauma and illness. As a scientist I investigate the biology underlying the mind-body connection. My belief is that if we can actually understand how the mind (say, experiencing stress) affects our body (like increasing inflammation), then we can figure out how to reverse those negative effects. For example I study how meditation and yoga can both improve our ability to handle stressful situations and negative emotions, and enhance our cognitive and immune system functioning. In my work as a leadership coach my goal is to help people become aware of their own thought patterns, emotional reactions, and to develop skills to overcome the tendencies that don't help them. 

ADC: I’d be curious to hear how you explain how your background in positive psychology informs or integrates with the curriculum you've developed for WYLD?

KGM: Sure… So for those of you who don’t know, Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within them, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.

WYLD participants learn how to better articulate and apply their strengths (via Clifton StrengthsFinder) to maximize their work, relationships and better achieve their goals. PERMA (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement) is a well-known model for well being based on the five key elements or drivers of authentic happiness and meaning. The five day retreat is guided by these themes as well as neuroplasticity, energy management, gratitude, and creativity.

KGM: How do YOU think the science and the curriculum are integrated?

ADC:In so many ways! For example, one of the parts of the WYLD curriculum I'm most excited about right now is the work on getting in touch with the sensations of your body. This is a concept my research colleagues are just beginning to explore -- a concept called interoception. Interoceptive awareness is your ability to tap into your physical sensations and listen to what your body is telling you about your emotional states. And some people are better at this than others. Being out in nature and taking a mindful solo hike or herding cattle on horseback requires you to connect in with your body, and helps you develop the skill of interoceptive awareness. Developing this skill, so we can connect and listen to our bodies well, enables us to better handle stress in our daily lives. 

KGM: We recently ran a Women Who Run With the Wolves day long retreat in SF together- what was your favorite part and what do you think we learned about what women need most in the world right now? 

ADC:My favorite part was seeing how much beauty each woman has within them. I feel like most days I rush around, getting sh** done, and not actually seeing people. By being in nature with 14 women for a full day with no cell phones and meaningful conversations I was reminded how truly miraculous and beautiful each person. It reminded me that we need this type of work so badly in the world -- the type of hard work that makes us slow down and look deep within ourselves, and deep within others, to try to understand the world with a little broader lens or from a different angle. With the political and social climate as it is, I see a need for women to come together and connect meaningfully now more than ever. The power of it is that it gives each person who is there that little bit of extra strength they need to make a stand for what they believe in, whatever that is for them. 

ADC: How would you answer the same question? 

KGM: Oh gosh, it’s about getting back to basics. It’s about old school summer days of curiosity and wonder.  This retreat was particularly powerful for me because I witnessed brilliant, driven women reclaim bits and pieces of their authenticity and curiosity all because Alexandra and I dared to turn an idea into an invitation and date on the calendar. 

Brene Brown says, the two greatest words in the human language are "me too". Something very powerful happens when we take the time to put down our phone, explore in nature, ask questions and listen to answers. When we actually take the time to use our five senses and be present in the museum that is a forest or a beach something shifts in us; we tap back into our inner wisdom and intuition - we find ourselves in the stories of others and under the big, big sky. 

If you look at the world around you, if you really notice and look around the corners of your day as if there might be some magic or a little message just for you… It appears.