Ripple In With Linda Black
By Jodi Mardesich Smith – The Yoga Journal November 1, 2017
Last week Yoga Alliance’s Annual Business Conference was packed with eager entrepreneurs waiting to take in words of wisdom from their successful and experienced predecessors. The volume of credible licensed yoga professionals who flocked to master mind with notable teachers such as Sianna Sherman, Tias Little, Ashley Turner, Adam Ballenger, Cynthia Wand, Corena Hammer, Seane Corn, and many more was astonishing! Daily business classes teaching the nuts and bolts of making a living in the healing industry were mixed with yoga sessions from Yin to Kundalini. Throughout the week I was honored to meet some of this year’s top presenters and ask them burning questions from our pool of thoughtful readers. I threw in a few of my own questions too!
I caught up with one of this year’s top picks for favorite presenters, Linda Black. After participating in her 4 hour session “What’s In It For Me” earlier in the day I was as eager as a child on Christmas morning to get to the interview.
Our meeting takes place in her hotel room. I’m a few minutes early and knock on the door anyway. I’m greeted by two beautiful young ladies; Alexis (who I find out later is her marketing maven daughter), and Maddi (the artist and creative source behind the book). The room has an air of sophistication without pompous extravagance. The blue pillows sprinkled atop the sand colored sofa are as blue as the ocean that litters the view from the window of Costa Rica’s Yoga Retreat Center hotel room. I’m invited in to sit on its pillowy soft cushions.
Linda appears shortly after, casually dressed in loose yet flattering white cotton yoga pants and simple form fitting turquoise top. At age 54, Linda bears the warm smile and inviting demeanor of a wise guru…yet her muscle tone, alert mannerisms, athletic build, and smooth features are that of someone a decade younger.
Linda Black: Lemon Ginger tea with goji berries is one of my favorite pick-me-up drinks after a full day of yoga and facilitating. Would you like some?
A feeling of ease, grace, and confidence preceded her words which made my response feel genuine and without hesitation I replied, “For sure! I’d be grateful for a cup.” I’m used to asking the first question and it felt out of sequence to be answering. I quickly remedied the situation and so our dialog begins…
Jodi Smith: I enjoyed your conference session and felt that it holds meaning for every business person out there not just those in the healing industry. Is this class something that you take into the work force and if so, how did you break into that market?
(Alexis brings me a cup of steaming tea. It smells delicious.)
LB: Funny you should ask that question. I feel fortunate to be able to bring this message to many businesses, leaders, and healers. Yes, I do currently mentor leadership teams in the work force on implementing the strategies I shared with you today. I’ve been in the yoga and nutrition industry most of my life except for the 15 year stint as a computer programmer fresh out of college. I’ve always been fascinated with the body and how it works and how we can heal ourselves through diet and exercise. It’s only been in the last 10 years though that I put the mind piece more firmly into that picture of wellness. This part of the puzzle is massive and our use of its potential is like that picture of the iceberg in the water we’ve all seen. We use about 10% of our true abilities and the other 90% is underwater or lies dormant as the subconscious. It’s about tapping into the 90% and really using our sub-conscious in every aspect of our life, or in other words living consciously. That’s what our company “Conscious Work-Play” is all about. It’s about moving from the heart and making decisions based on what’s good for the collective. My belief is that all will prosper when we serve others with integrity and on purpose.
I wrote a book about it called “ROI – Ripple On Investment: A guide to leaving a spiritual legacy at home and business”.
JS: Let’s talk about your book for a minute…I had the pleasure of reading ROI just this past week. Tell me, did you base your presentation on the principles from the book?
LB: Yes. Much of what I presented today comes from the ideas I formulated for the book. Of course we go into much more detail in the book though I like the interactive personal connection of a workshop and having the group energy.
JS: What gave you the idea for your book?
LB: I need to preface this with I never dreamed of becoming an author until just a few years ago. Since then, I’ve dreamed of THIS moment and you are part of seeing my dream come into full fruition. I am extremely grateful for your interest in and meeting with me today. I’m honored to have this interview.
The idea for ROI came during a workshop I attended back in August of 2015. I was studying to become a facilitator for the Virtues Project. In this training we had an assignment to present to the group the Virtues Strategies (see www.virtuesproject.com for reference). It was during this week that the idea came to me. We hear a lot about ROI as Return on Investment. I like to think bigger picture in terms of what impact in the long run our decisions have on our families, our communities, our cities, and ultimately the planet. It’s got to have a purposeful and meaningful ripple out there in the world or it’s just not worth doing no matter what the profit margin looks like. This is true in relationships, business, parenting, and anything we do in life. Following your heart’s desire leads you down that path of leaving a spiritual legacy.
Teaching the principles in “Ripple On Investment” is showing businesses how they can value their employees by adding structured programs such as yoga, meditation, nutrition workshops, and leadership training. Up-leveling the expectation at work through active mindful leadership starts at the top and trickles down. We ask questions like “What impact will this program or decision have long term?” “Who does it serve?” “What are alternative options? That’s really how Ripple On Investment got started.
JS: I can see how this is applicable in all areas. I really enjoyed the stories and illustrations you used in the book to drive this point home. Where did you find the inspiration and creativity for it to come together in such a powerful way?
LB: Manifesting the book is a direct result of being part of the 2015 Master Keys Master Mind Alliance. This was a game changer for me. The commitment, ambition, and drive of Mark, Davene, Trish, guides and the whole team at MKMMA is a remarkable example of Ripple On Investment. That story is included in the book as well. The 6 month training was the catalyst for my dreams to come to fruition. I’m forever grateful to Debbie, a friend who suggested the course, to Carolynn, my guide, for her belief, and to the process and work that I didn’t know I could do but did.
JS: Where are you going from here?
LB: The vision for the future is coming into focus! I’ve started a support group on-line for Ripple On Investment and am putting in place certifications for those who are interested in moving this out into their communities. The on-line response has been overwhelmingly positive. As a company, we are extremely blessed and grateful to be able to offer this message world wide.
JS: It’s been an extreme pleasure to speak to you today. I’ve felt your ripple in the world and hope that keeps getting bigger and bigger.
LB: Yes! Ha, you get it. Thank you.
As our interview wraps up we exchange a warm hug. Hours later I can still feel the warmth and peace that hug brought me and am eager to share that experience with others.
About Jodi. Jodi is a freelance writer and contributor for Yoga Journal. She lives with her husband in Utah, loves skiing, outdoor recreation and yoga.