At Leaders in Heels, we are passionate about celebrating women’s stories, and when we heard Div Pillay’s story, we knew we had to share it with you. Grab yourself a cuppa and settle in to enjoy this  article, written by Div herself.

In light of everything going on in the world today, I #ChooseToChallenge you. I challenge you to think about how you are advocating for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women.

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Inhale, exhale, begin to quiet your mind. Beginning meditation can be as simple as that. So why are so many people intimidated by the thought of meditating? 

You don’t have to fully enlightened to meditate, and you don’t have to have a sacred space on top of a mountain. Meditation can be done anywhere and by anyone. And, let’s be honest, just about everyone has had an experience in their lives where they are out in public, and a quick meditation would be extremely helpful. 

So what exactly is meditation? According to Merriam Webster, to meditate is “ is to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) to reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness”, yep, it’s that simple. Meditation brings your attention the here and now and helps get rid of the distractions that you’re constantly bombarded with. By slowing down and focusing on your breathing, you can let the rest of the world just melt away. It helps you pull your attention inward and truly be and feel, which in turn brings forth a sense of calm and control of your emotions.

You can stop and focus on your breathing just about anywhere, right? So, you can meditate just about anywhere! 

There are lots of meditation tools you can use to help facilitate your practice as well including:

Counting: As you focus on your breath, begin to count to twenty, one count accompanies one breath. (Example: Inhale 1, Exhale 2, Inhale 3, Exhale 4) Once you reach twenty, count to forty and slow your breathing down, only counting with every other breath. (Example Inhale,  Exhale 1, Inhale, Exhale 2) The mental counting helps you concentrate on your breathing. 

Body Scan: Imagine your at your desk and your inbox is piling up and you start to panic. Soften your gaze and deepen your breath and begin to cue your body to relax. Start from your forehead and work down your face and jaw, then move down your arms, torso, and legs. By the end of this practice, you will feel completely relaxed.

Paint a Mental Picture: Visualization can be a great way to meditate. As you close your eyes, imagine you are painting a rainbow on a big white canvas. Take your time to picture your paintbrush dipping into each color and pulling the line across the canvas until you have a complete rainbow. 

Mantras: You don’t have to know fancy Sanskrit words to create a mantra. As you breathe, internally repeat a mantra that makes sense for you. For example, you could say I am on your inhale, at peace on your exhale, or I can on your inhale, do this on your exhale. 

These are all types of meditation that you can do anywhere anytime. You can meditate when you need a five-minute break from your kids, after you have parked your car before you head into work, when you feel uncertain before an interview, or before bed to calm your mind. Meditation is a powerful tool that helps you create your own internal calm and peaceful space. I like to think of it as a superpower that keeps me grounded, in control, and able to handle anything life throws at me. 

So go meditate! Meditate at home, meditate in a park, at your desk, in your bed, literally anywhere.

**Please don’t meditate while driving, and choose a safe space where you are aware of your surroundings for safety reasons.**

About the author

Cassidy Ricalde always found healing powers in the movement of the body. Growing up as a classical dancer, she found yoga and barre to be a way to tie together body and soul. She completed her 200-hour Yoga-Teacher certification at Flow Yoga in DC and did an apprenticeship with Ease Yoga in Alexandria. You can find out about Cassidy here


A champion mindset is an approach to thinking that enables your dreams to be attainable and approachable instead of overwhelming. Having a positive mindset leads to positive behaviours  Here is a “champion process” broken down into seven steps. 

Step 1: Awareness of Self

Having awareness of self comes first because it enables you to know what you truly want. To gain awareness of self, start meditating five minutes a day and focus on your breath and let go of everything else. 

Step 2: Beliefs

Gone are the days when we lived our lives thinking we had to see it to believe it. Now we’re moving into the quantum field where you have to believe it to see it. This is known as Quantum manifestation.

To understand this, be mindful of what you believe. Check that your beliefs are in line with your goals, rather than opposing them, as that way you will move towards them.

Step 3: Daily Consciousness

Daily consciousness practices keep you in your champion mindset and include practising gratitude, exercise, and asking yourself important questions like, “What one thing can I do today, that will make a massive difference to my life?” 

For example, a typical morning routine for me looks like this: 

  • Meditate and practice yoga. 
  • Take a walk while repeating ‘I am statements’ (who I declare myself to be), my gratitudes, my affirmations.
  • I always ask myself, “What one decision or action can I do today that will massively improve my life?” 

Other useful questions to ask yourself are: is this the best use of my time right now? Is this where my expertise lies? Is this what will drive my business forward? 

I love asking myself, “How can my life get any better?” As your subconscious mind will always try and answer it with a better way forward.

Step 4: Unlock and Transform Self-limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are often deeply imprinted from our childhood. Get started by becoming aware of what yours are. For example, look at when something you’ve tried to achieve hasn’t worked out (in any area of your life). You might need to gain more awareness. 

It is useful to listen to your self-talk, as our limiting beliefs often show up there. Change this inner talk to be kind and supportive of your goals and self. You might need help, such as from a coach, or a counsellor. Once you pinpoint and transform your self-limiting beliefs, you are on your way to freedom!

Step 5: The One Percent Rule (Tiny Improvements Daily)

The Japanese principle of Kaizen is the philosophy and science of constant and never-ending improvement (CANI), or betterment or refinement. It’s the idea that nothing is ever finished or declared perfect; there is always room for improvement. Naturally, a series of small incremental improvements over time adds up in the long run. 

You just need to make the tiniest improvement that takes no effort. Ask yourself, “how can I improve what I’m doing by one percent?” John Wooden, who’s considered one of the greatest NCAA basketball head coaches of all time, got his players to do this, and they went on to win many of their championships!

For example, do just one more sit up, do your five minutes of meditation a day or listen to audiobooks in the car. If the dream seems big, chunk it down to five minutes a day, as this removes the overwhelm and makes it easier to achieve. Then start to see the transformations in your life.

Step 6: Raising the Bar to Ridiculous Heights

We are far more powerful than we imagine and because a champion mindset is not linear or logical, rather quantum and instant, we can raise the bar to immense heights. 

Often, we set the bar so low that we achieve it — rather than listening to our inner champion and reaching higher to a goal we perceived as big, when in fact it is just a series of moments.

I implore you to take small steps towards your big goals, regularly (five days a week); doing that one percent more; and remember to consciously harness the self-talk, tools, and beliefs of your champion self. 

As Muhammad Ali stated, “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it — then I can achieve it.”

About the author
Rhiannon Rees is a human behavior expert and international high-performance coach helping CEOs, businesses, elite athletes, coaches and celebrities to redefine their level of success. Rhiannon is a best-selling author, thriving entrepreneur and a global speaker, whose personal sufferings led her to search for answers and into a 30-year study of human behavior. Compelled to help others, she has continued to invest in education in the fields of self-development, neuroscience and business. Rhiannon is founder of the Conscious Coaching Collective and has demonstrated success in creating champions. An accomplished expert in her field, Rhiannon was awarded Global Visionary of the Year 2021 by IAOTP.


There are so many wonderful leaders, past and present, that we can learn from for our own journeys. As such, we have compiled a great selection of our favourite inspirational quotes for leaders like you! Use them when you need a little extra pep, you’re feeling unmotivated or you just need a friendly reminder that your goals are amazing and achievable.

PS – save your favourite quote cards to an album on your phone and read them anytime you need a blast of motivation.

1. “Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” – Hillary Clinton

2. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

3. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill

4. “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

5. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” – Maya Angelou

6. “Money never starts an idea: It’s the idea that starts the money.” – Mark Victor Hansen

7. “Great things never came from comfort zones.”

8. “All great things begin with a vision… a dream.” – Estee Lauder

9. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim rohn

10. “Old ways won’t open new doors.”

11. “Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.”

What are your favourite inspirational quotes for leaders? Let us know in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to check out our Instagram for your daily dose of motivation!


I remember the very moment as if it was yesterday. New Year’s Eve 2019, a magical moment. After two years of all-nighters full of research, legal documents and development, I was sitting on my couch in my living room. 

I just came back from putting my little daughter to bed and my husband was waiting for me with a glass of champagne to celebrate 2020. We have been planning the launch of DUŠA & KAMEN down to every detail and were very confident that 15th of February we will be going live, selling our products.

Fast forward 3 months – 1st of March 2020, me sitting on the exact same couch, crying my eyes out. What has happened? Well, the world is in the middle of the worst pandemic we have experienced since the Spanish flu. All my launch plans are scattered in pieces. 

The product couldn’t be bottled because the suppliers were only working part-time and need to bottle disinfectant with maximum priority. The legal processes came to a hold because government agencies are not processing these non-priority files now. Our packaging was waiting for us at borders within the EU because the EU customs processes and the Schengen Convention are at an absolute freeze to fight the spread of COVID-19.

I thought to myself: “This is it. We are never going to launch our products in 2020. We will be running out of money before the first product is even packaged.”

Fast forward 5 months into the future. 31st of August 2020, we have been live since July and have sold more bundles of our new skincare line than I could have imagined. Our customers are leaving top reviews every day and even during an ongoing global pandemic we were able not only to get everything done but also excel at customer service and selling luxury skincare products all over the world. 

This was no easy task and I was about to throw everything under the bus every other day. I fought the battles and I won, I made it. 

There are five key lessons that I learned launching my company in these crazy times and these will help me to grow my company and maybe will help you, too. 

Plan ahead – what is the worst-case scenario?

I know, I know, nobody could have predicted what was happening in 2020 and most businesses and startups have been hit hard by all the issues and problems that this pandemic has caused. However, one of the biggest learnings for myself was that I did not even have a worst-case scenario. I was so pumped up with positive feelings and my can-do-attitude that I made a crucial mistake. I was not looking at my plan and asking myself: “What could go wrong”. I think that most businesses and startups operate that way and that is something we must change in the future. 

My advice, we cannot predict what exactly will be happing, but I am pretty sure something will go wrong along the way – so plan for it.

Control your bottom line

This might be a no-brainer for most of you, but I have neglected it for my entire startup process, so I need to mention it. Manage your costs. It is crucial to look at your monthly expenses and write down all your overhead. And then try to reduce it. I was astonished when I found out what I was spending exactly, and I was able to reduce it by 50%. 

My advice is to check your costs monthly and eliminate everything that is not currently needed.

Be careful when adding dependencies to your production process

That is a big one, also it is hard work to do it. Before COVID-19 it was quite easy to log into some portals searching for suppliers all over the world and adding them your supply chain. Every supplier and every new country you add to your supply chain adds dependencies to your production process. 

So, my advice here is wherever you want to start your business, it is always a good idea to work with local businesses because complex supply chains and production processes can really harm you when something goes wrong – like a global pandemic.

Manage your mindset and yourself

This might have been the biggest challenge for me. When my initial plan failed I was devasted. I had a task list with a couple of hundred items and a lot of priority 1 issues. I also had to take care of my daughter because our kindergartens have been closed. 

I thought about cutting my loses multiple times this year and getting back to my old job. Some days I was not even able to write a single e-mail before 9pm because it was just a crazy situation to be in. 

To overcome this I started to work on my mindset and started to do meditation daily. I was able to control my fears and focus on the happy moments even in the worst of times. That really helped me get going again and work through that pile of issues to get everything ready for my launch in July. 

So, my advice here is that there will be issues along the way that is something that every founder will tell you but the way you cope with those issues will determine if you are successful or not. There are some tools like meditation or mentoring that will help you to work on your mindset and you should if you want to be successful even if the whole world seems to be against you.

Hana Boppre

When Hana’s friends and family started to see the change in her skin most of her friends started to ask for their own little toners and oils. Every night for more than six months she started crafting new formulas and was tweaking the existing ones multiple times until DUŠA & KAMEN was created.