By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie
Luminous, vibrant and like a gorgeous ray of sunshine, Bec Van Leeuwen is the epitome of a woman on purpose. As the Founder of Soul Sister Circle, Bec burst onto the scene only a few short years ago and hasn't looked back since.
As a complete and utter event nerd, I keenly followed the Soul Sister Circle events and wished dearly that they would come to Melbourne. When I first heard about the events my spidey sense was going off - I just knew that this was something special.
And here we are, a few years down the track and Soul Sister Circle has blossomed into something truly incredible. But no words that I can say will do it justice, so we sat down with Bec to hear all about the creative journey she has been on with SSC and ask her what is on the horizon.
Thank you so much for your time today Rebecca, it is so wonderful to have you with us! We'd love to hear how the beautiful idea of Soul Sister Circle came about and how it makes it you feel to see where it has got to today?
Soul Sister Circle was born to fill a void in my own life. I had recently started working full time as a Life Coach and had began to experience the isolation of being in business for myself. I was also struggling to gain traction with bringing in a consistent stream of clients. My mentors at the time really advocated Networking. They suggested that if I want to find new clients and grow my business that I needed to get out there and start making new connections. Uncertain and lacking confidence I pulled on my big girl panties and I started to attend local business networking events, but what I experience was actually quite disempowering. I would walk away from these events feeling really disillusioned. I didn’t resonate with any of the people I was meeting and instead felt more isolated and alone in business. At the time, there were a few heart-centred coaches and businesses emerging online that I really connected with. “They are my people” I though to myself. How do I find and connect with them?
Through my search, I connected with a small group of bloggers in Brisbane who were my very first Soul Sisters. In no time at all we were supporting one another, lifting each other up and sharing our innermost thoughts, doubts and fears. It was everything I had been searching for and exactly what my soul had been craving.
It was really from here that the idea for Soul Sister Circle germinated. Despite having no formal event experience, I felt strongly that there needed to be a sacred platform for like-minded women to come together and connect on a deep and meaningful level. Somewhere for them to be seen, heard, and be free to express themselves authentically. And so, Soul Sister Circle was born.
It took a lot of guts for me to start Soul Sister Circle and when I reflect back at how much she has grown my heart swells with gratitude. I truly have the most remarkable community of women around me, women who inspire me every single day with their courage, curiosity, determination and commitment to serve. What a gift it has been to be, in some small way, part of the evolution and blossoming of these women. And I am immensely proud when I look back and acknowledge that despite me fears, doubts and lack of expertise, I created something truly beautiful and purposeful.
Your events are infused with layers of inspiration, wisdom and practically; how important is it to provide your guests with a dynamic yet relevant experience?
For me, delivering experiences that are nourishing, inspiring, relevant and uplifting is rule number one. I want my guests to walk away feeling completely nourished, connected and empowered. I achieve this through the sum of all the little things. Paying close attention to the small details makes such a huge difference.
You describe Soul Sister Circle as like "entering another dimension" (sign me up!). How do you create this incredible experience for your guests and how do you find speakers who compliment your vision so beautifully?
When women with intention come together, it is like entering into another dimension. I can’t describe the vibes in the room at a Soul Sister Circle event in any other way than pure magic. It sincerely is the most supportive, open and loving space. My intention is very clearly to nurture my guests on all levels of their being, and this sits at the forefront of every decision I make when planning an event.
The beautiful thing about live events is that you get to excite all five of the physical senses and I make it my mission to delight each and every one of them through providing delicious organic food, creating a visually stunning environment, burning lots of candles infused with essential oils that work in harmony with the overall theme and energy of the event, playing soothing sounds and giving lots of hugs. I’m a huge believer in the healing power of touch and so I try to hug everyone as they enter the room at one of my events.
When it comes to finding guest speakers for my events, I rely heavily on my intuition. In one way or another, I will be guided to connect with someone, and more often than not it will lead to them speaking on my stage. In 100% of cases, these women really get what Soul Sister Circle is all about and are excited to shine their light into her. I have been so incredibly inspired and blessed by these women, and it is an honor to be able to provide a platform for them to share their wisdom with the Soul Sister Circle community.
Why do you personally believe it is important that women are continually moved by their own authenticity and creativity? And how do you find in-person events assist women in feeling this way?
Creating a life of great meaning and purpose starts within. We simply will not arrive on our souls path by seeking externally, and doing what we ‘think’ we ought to be doing. Instead, we must prioritise the way to authentically knowing and understanding ourselves, and then tap into our own creative magic to freely express our gifts in the world.
When we sit behind a screen, peering into the lives of others, what we see is an illusion. Things are never what they seem, and yet, we create benchmarks for ourselves based on what ‘other people’ are doing. It’s kind of bonkers when you think about it. Live events help to lift this veil of illusion. When we connect in person, we get to experience the person as they are, not as they appear, or how we perceive them to be, and this really helps to close the gap of separation that exists between us. A well executed live event can and will create unity amongst its audience and this is one of the founding principles of Soul Sister Circle - unite the Sisterhood.
What is your most favourite thing about running your events?
I love to witness the ripple effect that my events have in people’s lives. I have watched on with a full heart as women have discovered the courage to show up more authentically, pave the way for more meaningful careers, create greater abundance and welcome more joy into their lives. This of course then ripples out into their families, their clients and their communities. It’s breathtaking. During an event, I cherish the hugs, the divine ambiance and watching on as women open up and connect on a deep level, forming strong and lasting friendships.
This is one cheeky question we like to ask our cover girls, just like musicians have riders, business owners usually develop their own little list of must haves when they are at events. What can’t you live without at your events?
I always arm myself with grounding and balancing essential oils, crystals, flat shoes and lots of filtered drinking water.
And finally, 2016 is here and ready for action! What is on the horizon for yourself and Soul Sister Circle?
My goodness… I don’t really feel qualified to answer this question, as there are a lot of personal shifts and changes happening for me right now, and this of course, is trickling over into my business. I can say that there are some really exciting new offerings on the horizon including the Soul Sister Circle Podcast launching very soon, a delicious eMag bringing together beautiful minds, inspiring stories and timeless wisdom, and we will finally be bringing our events interstate and jumping across the ditch to share some love with our kiwi sisters. Kinfolk Festival, our glorious one-day outdoor event is set to be the most magical experience this year, with a stella line up of speakers, workshops and high-vibes. Beyond that who knows? I try to remain as fluid and open as possible as there are always doors that open along the way. Regardless, 2016 is looking pretty beautiFULL.
I think you will agree with me when I say this is one woman who is paving the way for others! What an incredible example of a beautiful intention to connect coming to life and creating a strong and vibrant community. Do yourself a favour and keep up to date with all things Soul Sister Circle HERE and get yourself to a SSC event as soon as you can!
All images belong to Soul Sister Circle