SuperShe reached out to Jenniffer Green, founder of Namasme, with a few follow-up questions after her impactful video interview with Kristina Roth, SuperShe CEO, from Paris. Jenniffer is currently in Bali and giving the SuperShe community mind-opening insight to a true travelers life. Jenniffer has become a world-citizen, calling 10 different countries home.
– Contributor, Jen Yih
Namasme – we love it, can you give us the elevator version of what Namasme is?
In Sanskrit, Namaste means ‘the divinity in me recognizes the divinity in you.’ In meditation one day I had a thought and realized that in order to truly recognize the divinity in anyone, you must first recognize the divinity in yourself. Because of this, I changed the T to an M and Namasme was born. We are a company that helps people navigate the process of getting to know themselves at a deeper level and to create the changes they want to see in their lives through coaching, workshops, retreats, or inspirational gatherings.
Moving on, we want to know about YOU! Jenniffer, it’s apparent you’re a woman of the world! But can you tell me a few places around the globe that you call home and why they are a part of you?
I currently live in Bali and have had the blessing of calling 10 different countries my home in the last 33 years. Each country has taught me wonderful lessons that I carry with me as I continue to live a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. The US taught me the value of risk taking, Italy taught me about not postponing your enjoyment of life, Bolivia taught me about friendship, The Dominican Republic taught me (albeit the hard way) the importance of finding your tribe and expressing your true self, and Paris taught me about love and the power of female friendship. Now that I think of it, I’m a pretty lucky girl!
Every young girl dreams of living in Paris? Why did you move to Paris & what was your experience there?
I decided to move to Paris after my first trip to Burning Man in 2014. I went with a mostly French camp and remembered just how much I related to and missed the european way of life. I was bored living in Washington DC and knew I needed a change. I also realized just how much of my French I had forgotten so I felt the need to go to France for some time in search of a life that felt more aligned with who I was at the moment and to brush up on my language skills. France ended up giving me way more than I ever thought she would.
In a recent interview with Emily Marant of Studio Marant, she mentioned that fashion reflects the modern era – today’s fashionable woman is fit and healthy, she does yoga, she has her own business, she’s a mother, she definitely doesn’t smoke, she does it all! Do you agree or disagree, who is this modern woman?
I don’t believe there’s such a thing. I think we put way too much energy into categorizing and labeling people and doing so hurts us as a society and as individuals because it makes it impossible for us to feel like we’re ever ‘enough’. In my book, the modern woman honors herself first and her lifestyle choices reflect that… whatever those may be. Ultimately what is most important is the fact that she gets to be the one who chooses.
You’re a life coach, is that correct? Can you tell me what the fundamental issue is that keeps women from reaching their full potential? Is there something you consistently come across, a hurdle for women to jump?
Yes, I’m a coach. I feel that the fundamental issue I see with all my clients, not just the ladies, is the fact that we’re socialized into building lives, careers, and relationships to match a particular story somebody else defined for us… be it our families, our cultures, religions, etc..
Everything, from what success looks like to what should make you happy like is fed to us from a very young age. Our whole sense of identity is largely determined by things we didn’t choose and this is the reason why so many adults are unsatisfied. Realizing we have a choice in defining our lives is is probably the biggest shift my work facilitates but it’s also the hardest thing to accomplish. Learning to switch off the autopilot and really take responsibility over your choices and actions takes time and a concerted effort.
Back to Paris, if someone has 1-day, 1-night in Paris – what would you send them off to do, see, eat? What’s the perfect Parisian day?
That’s a tough question. I guess it really depends on what you’re into. Paris has so much to offer every type of woman! If you’re like me, (ie. a bit low key, culturally minded, musical) I’d start my day with breakfast at The Shakespeare and Company bookstore / café. Located next to Notre Dame, it is one of the most unique spaces in Paris and a real piece of Parisian history. I’d walk to the Musee D’Orsay afterwards. They have an amazing permanent collection and fascinating temporary ones so you never walk into the same museum twice. The café upstairs has a lovely view and good food if you’re interested in having a bite as well. If not, upon leaving the museum I would walk around the neighborhood and find a typical French bistro to have some lunch. If you’re feeling adventurous though, I’d jump on the metro and head to Le Marais for some falafel.
I would definitely spend my afternoon in Le Marais walking around and checking out some of the local designer boutiques and art galleries with a pit stop at Jacques Genin for some hot chocolate and caramels. Before sunset, I’d head over to Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur and to witness setting sun from one of the most beautiful vantage points in the city. For dinner I would head to Les Apotres de Pigalle for some delicious food and wine and would later walk to my hotel after dinner, maybe stopping at a local bar for a nightcap. The wonderful thing about Paris is that it’s a very photogenic and walkable city so you could probably have a lovely walk back to wherever it is your staying in less than an hour.
You’re in Bali right now? Why Bali? We see many women travelling to Bali for yoga and surf retreats but what else is there! What are 5 unique things you suggest a SuperShe to do in Bali?
Bali is an amazing place. It is hands down the most spiritual, healing, and open place I’ve ever travelled to. (I would say India is equally spiritual but a bit less open). Ubud in particular is very special. I feel like the rest of the island is fairly similar to any place in the region so if you’re looking to experiment with conscious living or want some healing, perspective, amazing vegan food, or to meet spiritually minded folk, Ubud is definitely the place to be as it has become a center for shamans, healers, coaches, teachers, and guides to congregate from all over the world. Just in this last week alone, I’ve had the honor of meeting wisdom keepers from Colombia, Siberia, China, India, the Maori and Native American traditions and have been a part of some life changing ceremonies!
If you’re looking to deepen your relationship with nature or would like to get in touch with your more musical side, Ubud also has a lot to offer on that end so as you can see, Bali has a million things to offer without even dipping into the yoga and surfing.
A SuperShe top 5 in Bali would include:
- Renting a scooter and getting lost discovering the island
- Visit to the Sacred Water Temple and Uluwatu
- Night hike of Mount Batur to watch the sunrise from the peak
- Jam Session at Soma Cafe in Ubud
- Ecstatic Dance, Kirtan, or Cacao Ceremony
Lastly, you lived in Hong Kong too? I’m half-Chinese myself and wouldn’t even know where to start walking off the plane in Hong Kong. How can a Westerner go to Hong Kong and really understand the city? I understand it is a much more Westernized part of China but what’s so great about Hong Kong? How did you acclimate to such a foreign place?
Hong Kong is a very interesting place and is very accessible to foreigners due to it’s recent history as a British colony and current standing as an important financial hub in Asia. To understand Hong Kong is to understand how this relationship affected the people and culture of the city as they transitioned out of colonial rule to pseudo-sovereignty and a tremendous influx of capital, to now a contentious political relationship with mainland China.
From an energetic perspective, in many ways it’s very similar to New York. In many others, it couldn’t be more different. The energy is high, you have access to the best of the best in food, shopping, and activities but you also have temples and open air markets scattered all over the city giving it a really local color and feel.
People find Hong Kong to be attractive because of the opportunities that you can find there as a professional. It is a city with a lot of cash available for investment and a city that still has to catch up to the rest of the world in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation. In other words, if you have an idea and know how to work hard, you can probably make some great things happen there.
Acclimating to Hong Kong was an exercise in patience and remembering to be open minded. Even though I’d lived in many different countries prior to my arrival in HK, this was my first time relocating outside of the West and boy did that make a big difference in my experience.
I quickly realized that I was in totally unfamiliar territory and that to make it work for me I had to keep an open mind. This was especially difficult when navigating the very different concept of personal space that the Hong Kongese have as compared to Westerners. It is not uncommon for you to be pushed in the street or in the metro as people go about their business so you have to learn to not take things personally. After a while, that sense of invisibility actually starts feeling like a gift if you allow it to.
People in HK just have a different way of doing things. It’s not better and it’s not worse. If you’re going to thrive there though, you’d better open your eyes and ears and try to learn the differences quickly!
How do you see Eastern and Western cultures colliding as you seem to spend a significant amount of time in both parts of the world?
I was just thinking about this question the other day. I think both East and West could greatly benefit from learning from each other through a continued cross-pollination of ideas, customs, lifestyle preferences, and spirituality.
I think the West would benefit greatly from the East in terms of spirituality, healthcare, and the respect for elders and traditions so common in Asia. Westerners usually lead unbalanced lives, and have a hard time slowing down because they’re overstimulated practically all the time. Western society is a society of “doing” not one of “being”. As a coach, I’ve seen that this alone is the cause for a lot of unhappiness.
The East, on the other hand, could benefit from the more socially liberal nature of the West, the curiosity that sparks so much innovation and originality, and the friendlier view of failure especially prevalent in the US. I’ve noticed that people in Asia are far more afraid to take risks than their counterparts in the West and it’s all tied to culture and an upbringing with unbelievably high expectations.